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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 68343
Experience:  Qualified Employment Solicitor
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I am being made redundant. I have been employed for 32

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I am being made redundant. I have been employed for 32 years. The business has been taken over by two companies since I was originally employed by them at 18 years old (I am now 50!). Myself and 5 colleagues have asked for copies of our contract so we can work out what redundancy package we will be entitled to but they are now saying that they do not have our contracts. Where do we stand?
JA: Have you discussed the termination with a manager or HR? Or with a lawyer?
Customer: We are going through the consultation process. There has been two meetings with a group representative (also on the same original contact as me). My first individual meeting will be this Friday.
JA: What is your employment status? Are you an employee, freelancer, consultant or contractor? Do you belong to a union?
Customer: Employee and no I do not belong to a union
JA: Anything else you want the Lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: I don't think so

Hello, I’m Ben, a UK lawyer and will be dealing with your case today. I may also need to ask some questions to determine the legal position.

Do you know if you received any enhanced redundancy package under contract? Please note this is not always an instant service and I may not be able to reply immediately. However, rest assured that I am dealing with your question and will get back to you today. Thanks

Customer: replied 16 days ago.
I am not entirely sure. I started work at 16 under an apprentice scheme and became fully employed at 18. This is the first time in my career that redundancy has ever been an issue. There are some events that lead me to believe I am entitled to more that statutory redundancy. For example, those of us on our original 'Crytals' contract had really good benefits such as full sick pay. I got this 3 years ago when I had a biking accident and was off work for a considerable time. Also, the colleague who attended the group consultation meetings had a comment made to him by one of the Directors. He said "I wish I was on your contract...". However, when myself or any of my colleagues on the original contract have asked for a copy we have been told that Lookers do not have a copy of our contracts. I thought our employers had to keep a copy? I just found out yesterday that my individual meeting is this Friday so I would like to get as much information with regards ***** ***** rights as I can.

are there others going back to that time who may have kept their own contracts?

Customer: replied 16 days ago.
None of us can find a copy of our original contracts. Anyone on these contracts is going back 40+ years employment. Unfortunately mine got lost during my divorce.

Thank you. Obviously, the employer should have kept copies of your contracts but as it has gone through a couple of transfers and the originals go back so many years, they could have been mislaid over time. That does not mean it is allowed but then again if it has happened, there is little that can be done to retrieve them, assuming they are genuinely lost. The issue is that this does not in itself give you any rights. It is of course an inconvenience but you are purely working on speculations at the moment – you have no proof you get any enhanced redundancy pay and unless there is anything you can show as even potential proof, this will not go very far. You will simply be arguing that there is potentially enhanced redundancy, just because you got other benefits, but there is no evidence and no proof of it and the fact that the employer does not have a copy of your contract does not mean that was the actual case - it is still just speculation.

I appreciate this may not be the answer you were hoping for but it is the legal position and I hope that it at least clarifies where you stand?

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