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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 75146
Experience:  Qualified Employment Solicitor
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I've been going through collective consultation as a result

Customer Question

Good morning, I've been going through collective consultation as a result of pandemic impact and restructure on an international college. I am senior leadership and the only member of a two college team at this level who will be at risk. There is no suitable alternative and my previous substantive role no longer exists. On Friday it was announced with voluntary redundancy and resignations consultation and individual meetings planned for this week would no longer happen as they'd achieved target. However I emailed yesterday asking what this meant for me in terms of role and have received a reply that mine will still go ahead as my situation is different. Can a company stop consultation but then go ahead with my redundancy?
JA: Was this discussed with a manager or HR? Or with a lawyer?
Customer: HR are giving me stock answers - it was a generic email Friday etc. I don't have a lawyer and regretfully I am not with a union
JA: Does the workplace operate with employees, freelancers, consultants, contractors or with unionised employees?
Customer: The company does not recognise unions So won't negotiate with them Reps are allowed to attend individual consultation for support only
JA: Is there anything else the Lawyer should know before I connect you? Rest assured that they'll be able to help you.
Customer: I was on an interim contract Dec 20 - aug 21... This role was redundant due to restructure and it is my substantive previous role they are telling me I . redundant from. The process has been absolutely chaotic and very distressing, my main issue is they've emailed all staff saying the consultation stops, it was oy when I asked what happens that I get a reply saying I am still in the process. my individual consultation meeting is scheduled for 48 hours time and I'm not sure what to do now
Submitted: 20 days ago.
Category: Employment Law
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 20 days ago.

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.

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 20 days ago.

How long have you worked there for? 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 as soon as I can. Thanks

Customer: replied 20 days ago.

11 year This week

Customer: replied 20 days ago.

The consultation, redundancy etc I have no rela issue with.

It's the fact an email has been sent on Friday announcing it has stopped as target savings reached, then when I reply I am told that was a generic email and it doesn't include me.

Apart from misleading everyone and me, is this actually legal? That's my main question

Thanks

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 19 days ago.

Thank you very much for clarifying. First of all, I am sorry to hear about the issues you have experienced in your situation.

So just to clarify, you are still proceeding with the consultation as normal, and the issue is that you are unhappy you received an email which said this won’t be the case, even though it is?

Customer: replied 19 days ago.

They are telling me I need to proceed, despite sending a whole staff email saying no further redundancies

I am asking is that legal?

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 19 days ago.

Thank you very much for clarifying. What they have done is bad practice but it is not illegal. There could be all sorts of reasons why the email was sent and it could easily be an error or a misunderstanding. Either way, it does not mean that your rights suddenly change and you cannot proceed with the redundancy. I appreciate it would not have been a nice feeling to be told in an email that no further redundancies will take place, yet you are still proceeding with one, but none of this is illegal, it is just unprofessional, that is all.

Customer: replied 19 days ago.

Thanks Ben, appreciate quick reply.

In terms of action from my side do you think it would be appropriate to put forward a grievance regarding this?

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 19 days ago.

You can do but you have to remember that a grievance is just an internal process and it is up to the employer to decide what the outcome would be. If there is still a genuine redundancy situation in your case, then they can legally still proceed with it anyway, regardless of what that one email said

Customer: replied 19 days ago.

Thanks Ben

The redundancy isn't the issue so much, it's the manner in which I've been treated.there is more to it than this single email but thank you for the advice.

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 19 days ago.

From what I have seen there is a distinct difference between what is unlawful and what is simply considered bad practice and unprofessional conduct. So far it all seems to fall within the latter