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taratill, Solicitor
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 6428
Experience:  15 years experience of advising on employment law matters
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I was recently advised on 12 January 2016 that my job

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I was recently advised on 12 January 2016 that my job was at risk due to a reduced workload and that the current requirement for two managers in my team was to be reduced to one. The resultant 'consultancy' period from that date to 1st February included a competency interview which both myself and the other manager my colleague had to take. This was not a standard competency interview as I was advised and as my colleague had only been with company for 12 months and me over 3 years I was asked the questions in a way that i could only give answers to them for my current role and my colleague had the opportunity to give answers from previous employment as well as the current role. Since that interview I was told that i scored lower than my colleague and therefore I had not been selected and then on the 2nd February I was formally given notice of my redundancy meaning my employment would end on 1st March.
I have two questions:
1 - I know how the workload is assessed. I work in internal audit and I have been involved in the annual planning with the business which normally runs from around July-November will full plans being drawn up in early December. Therefore I am of the strong opinion that management would have known that the workload would be reduced back in December yet they gave me the total of 19 days notice which I feel is unfair. in addition although they claim that this is not relevant to the redundancy process, they had some job adverts for Head of Audit roles advertised on the internal careers site for roles one of which would be replacing my current line manager - which leads me to believe that the strategic loss of people would allow the new heads of audit to bring in and create their own teams. So my first questions is the lack of noticed provided could have been avoided and therefore is this unfair, and do I have grounds to challenge whether the additional roles are relevant?
2- My second question is that they have stated the whole process will be fair, the fact that i was guided to answer the questions with examples from my current role and my colleague given the opportunity to answer questions with examples from any of his roles would that constitute as unfair treatment?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Also having explored the citizens advice pages and employment law gov websites I gather redundancy could be seen as unfair dismissal if only few people are being made redundant and/or if they are hiring people in the same business area (Head of Audit roles mentioned above).ThanksKC
Hello my name is***** am an employment lawyer and I am happy to help you today. With regards ***** ***** as a whole how many people are they making redundant at this time?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
I have been advised that at the same time 10 positions 'were at risk' with only 4 people remaining in post - so therefore 5 others and 6 including myself.
But in terms of your role there were only 2 of you doing and they have reduced from 2 to 1? Or have I misunderstood?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Thats correct - the audit division as a whole has other redundancies and my team only has two managers of which my team has been made redundant.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
of which i* have been made redundant
So are you saying that you do not think that they need to make one of your roles redundant and still need 2 managers not one?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
what i am saying is that i feel they have given a justifiable reason for making the role redundant and the timings with the hiring of new heads of audit does not marry up
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
they have not*
Are the Audit Manager roles similar to the role you do?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
The new roles are not similar to the role I do - they would effectively be at my line manager level. My feelings that they are relevant stem from the CAB advice that :""The following situations are examples of where the real reason for your dismissal might not be redundancy:your employer has recently taken on other people. This could mean that there has not been a reduction in the amount of work to be done""
Hi I can see why this would lead you to think that however, note the use of the word could. A person brought in to audit a business is often brought in to try to assist the business to cost cut. If they have established that the work of you and the other manager could be done by 1 person then a tribunal would not interfere with that decision unfortunately. The other argument, about being directed to answer questions a certain way holds more weight. If you can demonstrate that the employer preferred your colleague and the redundancy / consultation procedure was done in a deliberate way to ensure that the colleague was protected then that would certainly be grounds for appeal and potentially to bring a tribunal claim depending on the response to the appeal. When you refer to 19 days notice do you mean notice of termination or 19 days consultation?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Ok.19 days consultation - as I detailed management would have been in a position to understand the requirements for the plan of work in 2016 earlier than when I was advised. Therefore given I have almost 4 years service, have been promoted successively and had no negative appraisals during my time this is extremely short and unreasonable in my opinion.
Where there are less than 30 people being made redundant at a location there is no legal minimum consultation period so there is no claim that can be brought on that basis unless you can demonstrate the consultation was meaningless. The fact that the employer were aware of the situation before they made you aware of it does not really make any difference to the situation I am afraid. I do not mean to be unduly negative but I need to be honest with you. I have 15 years experience of dealing with employment law and redundancy cases and they are notoriously difficult to win unless you can show that the redundancy is a sham. The problem from the employee's point of view is that the Tribunal Judge will rarely interfere with the right of an employer to save money by losing roles. As I said originally your best argument would be if you can show that they have set the situation up to dismiss you rather than the colleague with less service. Is there anything further you would like to know about this? If I have answered your question I would be grateful if you would take the time to rate my answer as I am not otherwise paid for the time I have spent working on your question by Just Answer, thank you and all the best.
Hello is there anything further you would like to know about this?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Sorry I am still at work so had to pop out for a meeting.I suppose rather than being setup as you put it, do I have the ability to challenge the fairness of the interview process?Also the consultation process did not really provide me with any answers and I was even delayed in being able to pursue redeployment opportunities as HR informed my line manager that these would be eligible only after my redundancy was made formal.Are you able to provide any insight as to what an ideal consultation period would entail?
Yes you do. You can appeal on the basis that you feel that the interview process was not fair. A reasonable consultation should inform you that the employer is considering making a role redundant, ask you for your ideas as to ways of avoiding the redundancy situation and discuss alternatives to redundancy for you such as alternative roles within the organisation. If your consultation did not cover all of those points then you can raise this in your appeal as well.
taratill and other Employment Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Thank you!
No problem and thank you for rating my answer. I do wish you all the best with this.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
I appreciate your help and all the best to you.
Thank you.