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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 44874
Experience:  Qualified Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
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I have a second meeting with my superiors regarding a redundancy

Resolved Question:

I have a second meeting with my superiors regarding a redundancy offer that was put to me. I have been advised that my intention to be accompanied to the meeting has been refused as this is a "protected" meeting "without predudice". My employers will have 2 people present at the meeting. I should add that at the first meeting I was badly misled. I was invited to attend the meeting to discuss operational matters at the company, only to be confronted by 2 directors, who advised me that I was to be made redundant. This behaviour was totally unacceptable . I believe they are trying "scare" tactics and imposing too short timescales. Incidentally ,I have worked as a senior manager with this company for 20 years.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 2 years ago.

Ben Jones :

Hello, my name is XXXXX XXXXX it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today. What is your specific query about all of this?

Customer:

I think the question I sent is clear. However what I want to know is whether or not I am entitled to be accompanied to the next meeting. I believe I have that right, but I do not know why " protected" or "without prejudice" meetings prevent me from being accompanied.

Customer:

Why has Ben Jones stepped out of the chat so quickly?

Ben Jones :

I have not

Customer:

Sorry but I am confused because I received a message stating "Ben Jones has stepped out of this chat"

Ben Jones :

ignore these, they could be due to system errors

Ben Jones :

The legal right for workers to be accompanied at certain meetings in the workplace is dealt with under sections 10-15 of the Employment Relations Act 1999. It states that where a worker is required to attend a disciplinary or grievance hearing and the worker 'reasonably requests' to be accompanied at that hearing, the employer must allow them to be accompanied by a 'single companion’.


 


The meetings that are covered by this right are:



  • Formal disciplinary hearing (any hearing where a warning is to be issued, other disciplinary action is to be taken, or a sanction is confirmed, such as an appeal hearing) - it will include hearings that may lead to dismissal if they are related to misconduct or capability issues

  • Formal grievance hearing


 


There is no legal right to be accompanied in redundancy situations, such as a consultation meeting or a meeting to confirm someone's termination by reason of redundancy.


 


So unless the purpose of this meeting falls with one of the above, whether ‘without prejudice’ or not, you do not have the legal right to be accompanied I’m afraid.


 

Customer:

How can I protect myself during discussions if there are 2 company representatives but only me alone?

Ben Jones :

protect yourself in what way?

Customer:

The company reps may state certain things and then later deny it, eg an offer at first meeting was made by the company to pay for any legal advice. However they could deny this in the future, thus anything else said at next meeting could be denied and I have no way of proving what was said

Ben Jones :

You need to take accurate and detailed notes. Some people even record the meetings

Customer:

Are you suggesting that I am entitled to record the meeting?

Ben Jones :

that is indeed possible, as long as it is an open meeting where you are invited to attend and you do not record any personal information about others, just yourself

Customer:

If I request to record the meeting, are the company representatives entitled to refuse?

Ben Jones :

yes they are but when I suggested that I meant record it secretely, without their consent

Customer:

Although I cannot be accompanied in the meeting, am I allowed to take an advisor along, who will wait outside and I can go out to confer?

Ben Jones :

potentially yes but the employer may not be keen on starting and stopping the meeting all the time and they could end it early if you continue going in and out and disrupting it

Customer:

What is the meaning of "protected meeting" and " without prejudice"?

Ben Jones :

they basically cannot be brought up in subsequent legal; proceedings...it's like they never happened as far as the courts/tribunals are concerned

Customer:

This seems unfair and as this matter is serious, can I request that the meeting is not "without prejudice" or "protected"

Ben Jones :

you can but they do not have to hold it if they do not agree and can continue under the formal redundancy process and not make any offers

Ben Jones :

if they want to make you an offer they can request it is held without prejudice - this is the usual way things are done

Ben Jones :

it is nothing out of the ordinary

Customer:

Since the first meeting was supposed to be about operational matters and no pre indication had been given about discussing redundancy. This seems like very sharp and almost illegal procedures

Ben Jones :

it is not illegal - the employer can convene a meeting about anything and then discuss anything as well. The law only deals with disciplinary and grievance matters and what must be done in advance. In other cases, including yours, different topics can be discussed at the meeting even if you were not told in advance. If you are not happy, you simply request the meeting is stopped and ask for another time when you can discuss this.

Customer:

If I refuse the redundancy offer are we in the realms of "unfair dismissal", if there are no performance grounds for dismissal?

Ben Jones :

redundancy does not depend on performance, it happens when the employer no longer requires the same amount of employees doing a particular job, but that is an entirely separate subject

Customer:

Ben , thank you very much you have been most helpful

Ben Jones :

you are most welcome, hope this has clarified your position to an extent

Customer:

I am trying to give you an excellent rating, but the system wont let me as it is showing "the expert has not finished answering"

Ben Jones :

it's a bug that happens sometime, we will process it at our end, many thanks

Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 44874
Experience: Qualified Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
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