Urgent redundancy advice needed

Discussion in 'OT (OFF Topic) Forums' started by flango, Oct 10, 2008.

  1. flango

    flango MB Club Veteran

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    Hi All

    Any HR professionals or experienced redundancy people out there? A good friend of mine who lives in Glasgow was told yesterday he is being made redundant as there is not enough work in the area for him, I think his company may be acting against policy or at best trying to bend the rules so could do with an opiniion on the following.

    He is part of a 14 strong UK team of 7 Account Managers and 7 Technical Service Engineers who visit mining and quarrying and sewage and drinking water operations, my friend is a technical service engineer and currently covers anything north of the A66 to john o groats and has 6 colleagues in the UK doing the same job. These seven people are employed by a large global company based in the midlands and their terms and conditions of employment do not mention geography boundaries at all and in the past they have all helped out each other by working in each others areas when cover is needed holidays etc. The company have decided there is no longer sufficient work in Scotland for him and the area will now be covered by the Scottish Account manager who will also now take on the role of technical service engineer as well, making a combined roll which he himself is unhappy about. So one person in the area instead of 2.

    My questions are

    1. If he is part of a 7 strong team who are not bound by geography then should there not be some sort of selection process to determine the best people for the job and the least suitable be made redundant.

    2. Can you make someone redundant on geography when it is not in their T&C's

    3. Is the role really redundant if it is being taken on by the Account manager?

    4. As the demographics of Scotland are totally different to that of England (5 million people in 30,000 Sq miles compared to Englands 51 million people in 50,000 Sq miles) can he be expected to bring in as much revenue as his English counterparts and should this figure in any redundancy decisions.

    5. In the document they have given him on which they have based the redundancy they have got his sales figures incorrect and are some 15% Lower than his actual, other minor facts in there are also incorrect.

    I also think that as this guy speaks his mind he is not well thought of by the UK management and I think personalities have got in the way of fact although there is obviously no way of proving this.

    All opinions or suggestions on the nexy course of action greatly welcomed as he is a good friend and I would like to help if possible and he is now on his 30 day consultation period.

    Thank you very much in advance
    Ian
     
    Last edited: Oct 10, 2008
  2. timskemp

    timskemp Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    If a proper evaluation and consultation is performed and it is deemed that the job can be executed by one man instead of two then it just comes down to a consultation process of who is most suitable.

    I suspect that this is not going to be the first story we hear like this. In my experience although it's not morally right, you can build a case against anyone for redundancy, been on both sides of that game I'm afraid.

    If he thinks he can get another job best thing to do is fight for as big a pay off as possible then leave, if he fights and hangs on he'll never be allowed to forget it
     
  3. Mr E

    Mr E Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    I might be able to answer some of these:

    1. Only if the whole group are being considered for redundancy. For example, the employer may only be experiencing overcapacity in the workforce in one geographic area.

    2. See above.

    3. Yes, redundancy still applies if the amount of work is not enough to sustain the existing workforce.

    4. Depends what his contract and performance criteria say.

    5. He should respond in writing to his employer pointing out the errors and providing evidence where possible. How should also ask for the criteria upon which the decision to make him redundant was based.


    If he thinks the process has been carried out unfairly, then he should take specialist advice, especially if he considered a claim for unfair dismissal at tribunal.

    Whatever the outcome, I hope everything goes well for him.
     
    Last edited: Oct 10, 2008
  4. OP
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    flango

    flango MB Club Veteran

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    I have actually seen his contract and it is very standard with no performance criteria stipulated. Just his role and job profile and it is very loose saying UK based. I have also seen a copy of his annual performance appraisal and no performance criteria was set for him in 2008 so he did not know what revenue he was supposed to generate he actually generates about 3/4 million whilst his English Counterparts generate 1.25 million each

    Hope that may help a little and thanks for the help it really is appreciated
     
    Last edited: Oct 10, 2008
  5. Dieselman

    Dieselman Banned

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    The revenue generated isn't an issue for redundancy, that would be a disceplinary issue.

    As Mr E has said, the geographical reasons could be enough to select this candidate as opposed to another performing a similar role. That's part of the selection process.
     
  6. grober

    grober MB Club Veteran

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    I think as the guys have said, seek professional advice. To be realistic all he can probably negotiate for is to improve any severence arrangement rather than retain his job. Sort of damage limitation exercise.
     
  7. bigstuff

    bigstuff Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    i think the norm is to put you on consultation then a interview for your own job & any other you could do then its a yes or no .i was on consultation till today but i was lucky i kept my own job but some guys did not so it was a hi & then a big lo sad:(
     
  8. neilrr

    neilrr MB Club Veteran

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  9. Dryce

    Dryce MB Club Veteran

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    Surely this is a utilisation issue. Which is an issue for redundancy.
     
  10. PXW

    PXW Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    Don't think so. Revenue generated could easily be one of the determining factors for who within a pool at risk gets made redundant. All staff may be performing satisfactorily - hence no discipline issue - but some more satisfactorily than others, in which case it is a valid discriminator.
     
  11. Dieselman

    Dieselman Banned

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    There simply may not be the same opportunity to make good revenue in that area. I'm sure that couldn't be used as a legitimate factor in selection.
     
  12. Dieselman

    Dieselman Banned

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    Redundancy and disceplinary/performance shouldn't be connected.
    Skillsets, training, location are all valid reasons, not underperformance.

    Of course that's not to say companies don't used performance or other issues as a factor, but not visbly.

    Redundancy simply means there is no requiremnent for that job role any more. The role is redundant.

    http://www.direct.gov.uk/en/Employment/RedundancyAndLeavingYourJob/DG_10029832
     
    Last edited: Oct 11, 2008
  13. Mr E

    Mr E Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    Not quite as clear cut as that. When we last had a round and I was an employee rep, we were advised that performance can be a valid measure, especially when dealing with over-capacity.

    The "target" group of employees (for want of a better phrase) were scored on various clearly defined characteristics, and performance rating over the past 3 years was included in that.
     
  14. Dieselman

    Dieselman Banned

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    Given different geographical areas and job roles would that not be difficult to quantify in this case.?
     
  15. PXW

    PXW Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    Disciplinary - agreed. Performance - sadly, no, you are wrong. Both performance and potential are valid factors in determining who in a pool at risk is actually made redundant. There may need to be documentary evidence, there will certainly need to be a statement by the line manager of his/her judgement on the matters, but they can be and often are subjective. REeundancy is of the position not the person and is by grade/level and location - but in the case of the OP the pool appears to be national, therefore that criterion is not in point. Not sure how your linky supports your argument - there's a list (non-exhaustive) of unfair reasons for selection, but performance is not mentioned there. However, staff appraisals are mentioned as a common measn of distinction within the at risk pool - and they are of course a close proxy for performance.
     
  16. Dieselman

    Dieselman Banned

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    It was merely for a source of official information relating to redundancy.

    I don't have an argument to support.
     
  17. PXW

    PXW Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    Agreed:D :D ;)
     
  18. OP
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    flango

    flango MB Club Veteran

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    the criteria being used is revenue per full time employee in the case of the Scottish guy it is half of his english counterparts but can this be used as objective criteria as the demographics of Scotland are different to those of England and the opportunity to increase revenue is just not there?
     
  19. PXW

    PXW Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    I itnhk it probably can, but it would certainly be challengeable on the basis of huge territory/limited population, and his case would be a bit stronger without any specific personal performance objectives being set (because they can't then argue performance relative to objectives, which would implicitly take the territory into account, but rather only performance relative to the other staff, hence the argument that the selection is unfair, if that amkes sense).

    Bottom line is they seem to have lined him up to go. I've found the best way to deal with that situation is to face reality and take control - so, I would advise a call to an employment lawyer (to arm himself with some real and specific advice, which his employer will find much more compelling than some bloke off t'internet) and then perform the (fairly easy) mental trick of seeing himself as in control. If you accept that you always have a choice (even if that choice is to leave), then you make a choice - here, perhaps to fight tooth and nail for your contractual rights, or to decide to go with the maximum payoff negotiable. The mere fact of making that decision is hugely empowering - suddenly you are going because you choose to go with the flow of that. I know it sounds odd, but I have been there and it does work! If he decdies to fight, he's now got ammo. If he decides to go gracefully (which I tihnk would probably be my recommendation from what has been said already, though clearly there is much more to be known about this) then there is much to be said for a straight conversation with the boss, along the lines of 'cutting to the chase, I think you want me gone; let's talk about how we make this easiest for both of us'.
     
  20. OP
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    flango

    flango MB Club Veteran

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    I totally agree with everything you say and he has now taken control and realised that he controls his own destiny. He is off to the Citizens Advice on Monday and then probably an employment lawyer depending on the outcome, thanks for the above it is appreciated
     

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