Redundancy - Legal or not?

Discussion in 'Redundancy, unemployment & jobseekers entitlements' started by vincentgav, Jun 2, 2016.

  1. vincentgav

    vincentgav Registered User

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    Hi All,

    My employer is talking redundancy. I'll lay this out in the simplest terms to get the gist of it, also, I cannot say too much.

    Employed in a pretty big company, a few offices around. My dept has around 20 in it. We have clients that we provide professional services to, I'll call them Clients; A, B, C, etc.

    The dept director told us that client B is withdrawing from us on July 31st, so they'll need to cut c. half the team, or find them other roles in house. If they can't be found roles in house, they'll be made redundant. (One could be rejected for any role that they apply for...)

    I work for Client A; not going anywhere, enough work for the next 12 months plus. I've never once worked with Client B, whose pulling out of business with us. I only work client A which is a full time job. Basically, my work with Client A will still be there.

    The bosses say 'It wouldn't be fair to say; "X works for Client B, so X will need to go." We'll decide who'll stay if we can find them a role' (I disagree completely, I think that's very fair. Truth be told, I'm not interested in anyone else's fairness at this time.)

    I'm there over 2 years, full time permanent. There have been many new people taken on in the last few months, maybe 4 people are here less than a year.

    Alarm bells went off, I think they're trying to get rid of/keep who they want.

    Can you guys please give me advice as to what to expect? Quite distraught here, please let me know if there's details I've left out.

    Thanks for reading.
     
  2. elcato

    elcato Moderator

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    First rule of thumb: Don't start worrying about things that may not happen. Relax and wait until you are given some information.
     
  3. Brendan Burgess

    Brendan Burgess Founder

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    Presumably your job contract does not say to work on Team A only.

    So it seems to me that they should, and probably, must apply the redundancy to the team as a whole.

    They must apply fair procedures in the selection for redundancy. And they are entitled to use recent performance as a basis for selection.

    "I think they're trying to get rid of/keep who they want."

    They are not entitled to use the excuse of redundancy to get rid of people.
    But if there is a genuine redundancy situation, they are allowed to select people based on their performance.

    Brendan
     
  4. thedaddyman

    thedaddyman Frequent Poster

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    In theory, people don't get made redundant, roles get made redundant. In this case, and assuming those working on the Client B account are doing unique tasks, then they should be the ones to go as their role is no longer needed. However, if you are all performing broadly similar tasks, then it becomes murkier. You don't work for Client A, you work for your employer and as long as the process they follow is fair and transparent, then they can select who they want.
     
  5. vincentgav

    vincentgav Registered User

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    Thanks for the reply. What about 'last in, first out'? Staff were taken on to deal with Client B, I've been there since long before Client B weree involved.

    Why should they apply the redundancy to the team? I'm not heated or arguing, but what's the reasoning behind that?

    I think I may have a case here:

    Say they do so, on performance, and all of my 1 to 1 meetings were good, no issues at all.
    I've never worked on this client, my job still exists - not redundant.
    They hired people in the last few months.

    I've called my solicitor, he says the job is redundant, not the person.
     
  6. aristotle

    aristotle Frequent Poster

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    There needs to be a clear targets\tracking\performance system in place if the employer wants to select based on performance and not leave themselves open to a weak defence if an employee goes down the EAT route.
     
  7. vincentgav

    vincentgav Registered User

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    Thanks for the answer, how could the process be deemed unfair?
    Thanks for the reply. There isn't one. My manager (female) has 2 female favourites (team of 4) who walk in c. 10-20mins late every day, my and the other guy get the cold shoulder day in/out and are pulled up for nonsense - being 10 mins late (twice in 2 years), being away from desk (going to toilet) too often, she herself is constantly late, etc. I could go on..

    One rule for all doesn't apply here. My other colleague is always ranting to me about it, I tend to observe and not get angry.

    There's no clear target tracker or performance meter in place. We're both concerned we could be axed, neither of us work with this client though. I normally wouldn't worry except for the fact they said what they did about deciding who to based on what they consider suitable.
     
  8. Gerry Canning

    Gerry Canning Frequent Poster

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    Vincent,

    Your employer has just lost a contract and has in advance warned there will be Redundancies; that is fair nuff.
    Because your section still are working on a live contract should not give you better retention rights that those on (lost) contract.

    I would hope your senior people would apply fair selection procedures.As per Aristotle they should have a performance system in place.
    Without that they are exposed if employee gets crankey and sues them under employment law (not a good outcome).
    It will be up to them to show fairness, but since lifes a bitch ,that's a hard one to show.

    Keep your cool for now and keep your own counsel.
    Wait and maybe axeman will miss you !
    Good luck.
     
  9. vincentgav

    vincentgav Registered User

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    Thanks Gerry.

    I think I can argue that I've been here on Client A since the beginning, hired for that job, only did that job.

    I also think that the new people should go first, I think that's as fair as it gets.

    Also, with no set performance indicators in place, they'd likely be better off to just let go of the new staff. I'm permanent, they aren't.
     
  10. Brendan Burgess

    Brendan Burgess Founder

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    I don't think that there is any basis in law for last in first out.

    It would be strange for your employer to make staff permanent while making others redundant.

    If your employer makes you redundant based on performance, then you can take a case for unfair selection for redundancy.

    Brendan
     
    Gerry Canning likes this.
  11. odyssey06

    odyssey06 Frequent Poster

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    Just a thought, if there are other opportunities in your job in your location, this could be a good time to move on. Do you really want to be somewhere that is playing favourites like this? You'll always be battling against the tide there.
    This could be a good opportunity to get the CV up to date, get a good reference, get some sort of payout, and make sure they allow you to take time out to attend interviews etc etc

    That said, if you are permanent and other staff are there < 6 months, likely they are on probation. It will cost them a lot more to make you redundant. So I'd be surprised if you are on the list this time.
     
  12. vincentgav

    vincentgav Registered User

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    I should say, I've been there over 2 years, passed my 6 month probationary period, passed my 12 month legal time there to be permanent. The staff there less than a year wouldn't be permanent.

    If they even said that someone else performed better, or something to that affect, would I or could I have something? I just want to stay on, I don't want legal battles.

    Thanks again for writing to me.
     
  13. thedaddyman

    thedaddyman Frequent Poster

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    Last in first out is normally legally valid as a selection method for redundancy. Only exception might be if you could prove some discrimination as a result of the policy (eg if the last 5 people hired were all non-nationals and you were only making 5 people redundant) and/or historically other methods of selection had been used

    It would also not be unusual for larger companies to be making some people permanent and others redundant at the same time, providing the staff affected were in different roles with different skill sets
     
  14. PGF2016

    PGF2016 Frequent Poster

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    Your employer is running a business. The most capable people should be kept on irrespective of length of service.
     
  15. vincentgav

    vincentgav Registered User

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    I take your point, but I'd rather leave when I want to leave, ye know? Not to be given notice and have to drop everything job hunting.

    They've also just sent around an email advertising the positions that we'd have to apply for. So they're trying to amalgamate the roles together and get us to apply for them again.

    Thanks for the reply, I appreciate you all bothering to write!
     
  16. vincentgav

    vincentgav Registered User

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    Hi Gerry,

    There's no performance measuring or KPIs in place at all. So any redundancies will be on the back of someone's 'word' (HR or management).

    They've advertised roles with desirable skills and said that they'll choose (not interview) staff on the back of how they're deemed to suit that role. It sounds fishy, my solicitor said that they've a responsibility to find a place for you within the company and that redundancy should be very last resort.

    Does this protect me?
     
  17. Gerry Canning

    Gerry Canning Frequent Poster

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    Don,t think it protects you but it surely strengthens your position should the worst happen.
    If the worst happens take advice from a known employment solicitor.
    Redundancy should be last resort and company has responsibility to you.
    Keep your views to yourself until you have to seek proper advice.
     
  18. Namdos

    Namdos New Member

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    Been in a similiar boat a few years ago..

    I would have thought people would have had to apply or interview for the new roles rather than be selected by presumably management.

    Im presuming management remains the same and this is only frontline staff? In my case middle management was largely taken out and front line staff shifted around
     
  19. newtothis

    newtothis Frequent Poster

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    I'd recommend to the OP:

    - Read the information at http://www.citizensinformation.ie/e...undancy/redundancy/redundancy_procedures.html
    - Keep notes of everything that is said and done by your employer whenever anything happens

    There are some key points:

    - it is roles, not people that are made redundant
    - if there are more than one person in a particular role, and not all of the positions are being made redundant, the employer should apply selection criteria that are reasonable and are applied in a fair manner
    - last-in-first-out is very typically used as a selection criteria as it is easy to prove it is both reasonable and fair
    - any other criteria can be used, but employers must be able to prove it is both reasonable and fair if challenged
    - job performance could be considered a valid criteria, but unless there is a historic record of individuals performance, an employer would be very much leaving themselves open to challenge; given your statement on not having any form of performance measurement in place it would be next to impossible for them to prove this is fair
     
  20. newtothis

    newtothis Frequent Poster

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    If an employer has a rigorous evaluation procedure with historic records of all employees performance it is perfectly OK to use this as a selection criteria. Without such records though, it would be next to impossible to prove it's a fair criteria and they would leave themselves wide open to a claim of unfair dismissal. It's precisely because few companies have this in place that they resort to last-in-first-out.