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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 70845
Experience:  Qualified Employment Solicitor
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My manager just informed me that my position is at risk for

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Hello, my manager just informed me that my position is at risk for redundancy. I am a graduate civil engineer and I am in the company from 1st April 2019. On mid-April I am on furlough until 31st October. on Monday I have a consultation meeting with my manager and they told me that I can be accompanied at the meeting by a work colleague or a trade union representative. Which are my rights? I will appreciate your help. I have to mention that in my branch, I am the only woman and only foreign person.
JA: Have you discussed this with a manager or HR? Or with a lawyer?
Customer: not yet
JA: What is your employment status? Are you an employee, freelancer, consultant or contractor? Do you belong to a union?
Customer: I am an employee. What do you mean with the union?
JA: Anything else you want the Lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: i suppose no

Hello, I’m Ben. It’s my pleasure to assist you today. I may also ask for some preliminary information to help me determine the legal position.

Hi there. I am sorry to learn of the difficult situation you are in. What are you ideally hoping for in the circumstances, so that I can best advise?

Customer: replied 8 days ago.
once in a month we had a meeting and they told us about the company's situation
Customer: replied 8 days ago.
only in the last meeting they told us about the redundancies in other countries but they told us that the branches in the UK are ok, they have managed to save money from the furlough scheme

Thank you, ***** ***** are you ideally hoping for in the circumstances, so that I can best advise?

Customer: replied 8 days ago.
today my manader called me and he told me that the graduate positions are at risk and we will have a consultantion period of 10 days to discuss who is going to get fired. But in the letter I received, they told me that y position is at risk because of my total score.
Customer: replied 8 days ago.
39;'You are part of a selection pool, where there is more than one person in a role at
risk, and 2 key managers/directors have completed an assessment on all
candidates to identify the employees who are affected. This information has now
been compiled by two assessors around the eight assessment criteria of: -
Attendance, Disciplinary, Timekeeping, Experience/Skills, Completing Jobs on
time, Completing jobs to set standards, Working as part of a team and Flexibility.
Your average overall rating is 59 and this puts your role at risk.''
Customer: replied 8 days ago.
39;'A first consultation meeting has been scheduled for you with manager on
Monday 19th October 2020 via mobile, to discuss your situation in more
detail.
Please note you have the right to be accompanied at this meeting by either a
work colleague or a trade union representative.
The meeting will provide you with an opportunity to raise any views you may have
with regard to your potential redundancy. It will also provide us with an
opportunity to explore further any possible alternatives to redundancy and to
consider any suggestions you might have as to possible alternative employment.''
Customer: replied 8 days ago.
what should i do next?

OK I understand and thank you for providing this information. Please do not worry and leave it with me for now; I will get back to you with my answer as soon as I can, which will be at some point today. The system will notify you when this happens. Please do not reply in the meantime as this may unnecessarily delay my response. Many thanks.

Customer: replied 8 days ago.
ok thank you very much.

Many thanks for your patience, I am pleased to be able to continue assisting with your query now. First of all, I am sorry to hear about the issues you have experienced in your situation.

The main issue in the circumstances is the fact that you have only been continuously employed at you place of work for less than 2 years. That means that your employment rights will, unfortunately, be somewhat limited. Most importantly, you will not have legal protection against unfair dismissal. This basically means that your employer can dismiss you for more or less any reason, and without following a fair procedure, as long as the decision is not based on a reason which makes a dismissal automatically unfair. They can proceed with a dismissal even if you had done nothing wrong and also without following any specific fair procedure or proving that any of the allegations are true.

As mentioned, there are some exceptions to this, in which case the 2-year rule does not apply. These include situations where the dismissal was wholly, or partly, due to:

- Discrimination due to a protected characteristic (i.e. because of gender, race, religion, age, disability, sexual orientation, etc.)

- Taking, or trying to take, leave for family reasons including pregnancy, maternity/paternity leave, parental leave, adoption leave or leave for dependants

- Raising concerns about health and safety or other unlawful acts by the employer and being penalised as a result by being dismissed

However, if the dismissal had nothing to do with any of the above exceptions, you would not be able to challenge it due to not meeting the minimum service criteria for claiming in the Employment Tribunal. In that case your only protection would be if you were dismissed in breach of contract. That would usually happen if you were not paid any contractual notice period due to you, unless you were dismissed for gross misconduct. That is where you were guilty of something very serious which justifies immediate dismissal, without any notice pay.

In any other circumstances, you would be due a minimum notice period, as per your contract and associated pay. If you did not have a written contract in place you would be entitled to the minimum statutory notice period of 1 week. The employer would either have to allow you to work that notice period and pay you as normal, or they can decide to pay you in lieu of notice. That is when you are paid for the equivalent of the notice period but your employment is terminated immediately and you are not expected to work through your notice period.

So if you believe that you were selected unfairly for being a woman and/or foreign and have evidence to back that up, you could potentially challenge the employer. Otherwise, I am afraid that they can select you for redundancy, even if it was done unfairly, as the 2-year rule means you cannot challenge them in these circumstances.

Hopefully, I have answered your query in a way that is simple and easy to understand. If anything remains unclear, I will be more than happy to clarify it for you. In the meantime, thank you once again for using our services.

Ben Jones and other Employment Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 8 days ago.
thank you very much for your help. much appreciated. I cannot do a lot as I can see. Thank you again. Enjoy your weekend and stay safe!

You are most welcome. If you have any further questions about this then please do not hesitate to get back to me and I will be glad to help. All the best