I recently completed a matter for a client who had been unfairly selected for redundancy by his employer. Read on for more information about how I helped him challenge his employer’s decision.
My client was one of a number of staff dismissed following a restructure and redundancy consultation by his employer. When my client first contacted me, he started off our conversation by stating there probably wasn’t anything we could do. However, whilst he understood his employer needed to reduce staff numbers and costs, he was aggrieved about the process they had used and, also, could not shake the feeling that there something was wrong with the selection process.
He booked in for a Fixed Fee Consultation. He sent all his paperwork including his consultation documents, meeting notes and the final letter terminating his employment. As we went through the documentation, I was concerned as to how my client had been placed in a particular pool for redundancy.
My client manged a branch office with around 10 staff. He and a colleague were at managerial grade and, between them, were responsible for the day to day running of the branch. My client’s colleague accepted an offer of voluntary redundancy at a very early stage of the restructure process. Therefore, my client understood that the necessary reduction in managerial grade staff had been achieved. However, when the consultation process reached the supervisor level, my client was added to the supervisor’s pool and was selected for redundancy. During the consultation process, one of the supervisors from the branch was promoted to what was, ostensibly, my client’s job.
My client’s complaint was that his particular post was not at risk as the necessary cuts had been achieved through his colleague requesting voluntary redundancy. In the new structure there was clearly a Manager post available. This was his job and his redundancy was a direct result of another colleague being promoted into his position.
I discussed with my client what possible motivation the company might have to manufacture a situation to dismiss him. He explained that he had some absences and a number of health problems in recent months. In addition, he explained that he was due to have surgery in the near future which would have resulted in his needing to take three to six months off work. It was his belief that having been very open with his employers and explaining that he would need time off for critical medical treatment, they had manipulated their redundancy process to ensure that he was one of the people dismissed.
Appeal Against Redundancy
I prepared an appeal document for my client. We set out in detail our concerns about:
- the necessity for a redundancy at managerial level given the voluntary redundancy of the other manager at the branch;
- the consultation process;
- that our client had been included the supervisors’ redundancy pool;
- that one of the supervisors had been promoted to our client’s position; and,
- that the employer’s actions were a cynical and deliberate manipulation of their redundancy practices to secure the dismissal of an employee who they anticipated would need time off work for a medical procedure.
As expected, our client’s appeal was not upheld and he instructed me to initiate his Employment Tribunal claim. Fortunately, he had legal expenses insurance as part of his home and contents cover. I liaised directly with his insurance company to arrange the funding for my assistance. In the event, we submitted claims for unfair dismissal and disability discrimination.
Employment Tribunal Claim
A week after my client’s Employment Tribunal claim was issued, we started receiving offers to settle from his employer. At the start of the process, my client stated he wanted his job back. However, as time went on, he became more and more disillusioned with the behaviour of his employers. In the event, he changed his mind and instructed me to seek financial compensation for him. I was able to secure him a package equivalent to a full year’s gross salary. He was delighted with this as, of course, he could now have his surgery and take his time convalescing without worrying about the financial impact on his family.
Lincs Law Employment Solicitors Can Help You
If you are going through a redundancy process and are worried about being made redundant, please call us on 01522 440512 for a free initial consultation. If you would like more information about redundancy procedures, please visit our website at https://lincslaw.co.uk/services/employees/resignation-dismissal-and-redundancy/redundancy/
If you have been made redundant and your employer’s decision was unfair, you may have an Employment Tribunal claim. Click on the link to take our online questionnaire and find out: https://lincslaw.co.uk/have-you-been-made-redundant-do-you-have-an-unfair-dismissal-claim/
Sally Hubbard, Specialist Employment Law Solicitor
Lincs Law Solicitors, Lincoln