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Hello. This forum has all ready helped me with a disputed debt.:D So I was wondering if anyone can help with a employment problem. This is not just for me it's also for a few colleagues.

 

I work in the voluntary sector full time, so therefore getting a wage. Due to funding issues, which at the moment are unclear. The department I work in may have to be cut back. We have been offered employment in another department which changes our work pattern (ie having to work weekends) Some people have refused to work in this department, and have been told that if they dont move, there will not be any work for them? (Constructive Dismissal?) I have also been informed by a source in my work, that there are 5 posts available in my present department, and that the management are deciding who will occupy these posts. In essence cherry picking. They are not taking into account length of service,sick leave, or the time spent in this department. They have also informed us that if we move to another department,and more funding becomes available, we will have to apply again for any positions that are available in our department.:confused:

 

I hope this all makes sense, and some of the wise people on this board, can shed some light on where myself, and my colleagues stand in this.

 

Thank you for reading this.

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This sounds more like redundancy, if the department is to close then you could be made redundant and that's not constructive dismissal. If others choose not to move then that's their choice, the company only have to act reasonably.

 

I think

Any posts submitted here on the Consumer Action Group under the user name GlasweJen may not necessarily be the view of the poster, CAG or indeed any normal person.

 

I've become addicted to green blobs (I have 2 now) so feel free to tip my scales if I ever make sense.;-)

 

 

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This sounds more like redundancy, if the department is to close then you could be made redundant and that's not constructive dismissal. If others choose not to move then that's their choice, the company only have to act reasonably.

 

I think

 

Sorry I should have probably made myself clearer.

 

They cant afford to pay redundancy.

 

Here's the scenario which may help other viewers answer my questions.

 

 

I worked for this company in Housing support which helps adults with learning disabilitys live a more independant life. I had to work weekends and a shift system.

 

I then applied for a job with the same company in a section that helps adults apply for jobs, and then support them in these jobs. I was successfull in getting this job, and my hours changed from shift and weekend work, to Monday-Friday 9 till 5

 

Now my problem is. Due to funding there may only be 5 positions (currently 25 positions) in this section. I have held a post there for 2 years. One of my colleagues has been in this section for 6 years. Now we have been told that if we dont get funding we will have to move back to housing support. But some people have been in the same job as myself, and colleagues for 6 months, a year, yet they have been told they will be staying:confused:

 

This means that I, and my colleagues, will have to go back to working weekends. Some of my colleagues have never even worked in housing support, so therefore have no idea what they are doing. They dont want to go to housing support as they have no inclination of doing this. So they have been told there will be no work for them within the company.

 

We have also been told (today) that if funding becomes available, we can apply for our jobs again by filling in an application form, then going through another interview?

 

MY QUESTIONS

(1) Can my employer send me back to housing support and make me work weekends and a shift pattern again?

(2) If my colleagues choose not to take up there offer of a vacancy in housing support. And therefore not have a job. Is this not consructive dismissal?

(3) Are my employers allowed to 'cherry pick' who they like in this section, forgetting all about the length of service some of us have?

(4) Are my employers allowed to re-advertise a job I have done for 2 years, and ask me to re-apply for this job?

 

These questions are not just for me. These questions are for another 20 people. The vast majority who dont want to move sections, and they want to know where they stand.

 

Sorry for going on but this is peoples futures and this site seems to have a lot of intelligent people who I think can help.

 

Thank you

Stretchmo

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I think this might be one for sidewinder but I can't see anything unlawful about the above. Also constructive dismissal is more about being bullied out not about being given a different job as an alternate to being laid off....i think. i'm not very good at this game

Any posts submitted here on the Consumer Action Group under the user name GlasweJen may not necessarily be the view of the poster, CAG or indeed any normal person.

 

I've become addicted to green blobs (I have 2 now) so feel free to tip my scales if I ever make sense.;-)

 

 

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As far as I can see, and ignoring for a moment the charitable nature of the work, you are no different to any other 'employee'. being an employee relies on a 'mutuality of obligation', ie that you are required to attend work and the organisation is obliged to find you work, in return for which you receive a wage.

 

That being the case I can see nothing which excuses the organisation from obligations under the Employment Act or the Employment Rights Act. Therefore, if there is a decision made that the workforce needs to be reduced, then the organisation should undertake workplace consultations before deciding exactly whose positions are at risk and what alternatives are available. Those whose positions are at risk and who are interested in the alternatives should be selected to either be retained or dismissed based on standard criteria relating to skills, adaptability etc. For those who are to be dismissed, a redundancy payment should be made in accordance with at least the Statutory Redundancy payments scale, subject to having at least two years service. Sufficient notice also has to be given for the dismissal based on length of service. There are also other rights associated with redundancy.

 

I would suggest at this stage a written request for a meeting with your employer to discuss the situation regarding continued employment. Ask them whether consideration is being given to making staff redundant and at what point they intend to consult with the employees.

 

(1) Can my employer send me back to housing support and make me work weekends and a shift pattern again? No - the employer is legally bound to try to find you suitable alternative employment - if the alternative is unreasonable (even if you have done it before) due to a change in your health, personal circumstances etc then they would have to make you redundant.

(2) If my colleagues choose not to take up there offer of a vacancy in housing support. And therefore not have a job. Is this not consructive dismissal? Not neccessarily. If the alternative is 'reasonable' then the employer can legally terminate the employment with notice given as a reasonable alternative has been rejected. The same rule applies as for Q1. The employee is being dismissed because their role is redundant, the options are either redundancy or resignation, but there has to be the element of 'reason'.

(3) Are my employers allowed to 'cherry pick' who they like in this section, forgetting all about the length of service some of us have? No - the 'pooling' process must be considered with the staff to remain being selected based on a range of criteria. This would affect staff with the same title and responsibilities, so it might be for example, that Supervisors are not being put at risk of redundancy but Admin Clerks are all being made redundant, so those at risk would be 'pooled'.

(4) Are my employers allowed to re-advertise a job I have done for 2 years, and ask me to re-apply for this job? Yes - as long as this isn't straight after making you redundant and if a change in circumstances makes it neccessary to restructure again. In selecting the best candidate

they would undoubtedly take your experience and ability into account.

 

Hopefully this helps, but I have to say that I am not familiar with the peculiarities of charity work or how being funded by charity affect redundancy payment - I know that if you are made redundant by an insolvent company then you pursue the redundancy payment through the Insolvency Service, but for a Charity with no money? I haven't a clue. If the answers which you receive from the employer are not as you would wish, then it may be worth having a chat with ACAS (08457 474747) - they will undoubtedly have a much better idea.

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As far as I can see, and ignoring for a moment the charitable nature of the work, you are no different to any other 'employee'. being an employee relies on a 'mutuality of obligation', ie that you are required to attend work and the organisation is obliged to find you work, in return for which you receive a wage.

 

That being the case I can see nothing which excuses the organisation from obligations under the Employment Act or the Employment Rights Act. Therefore, if there is a decision made that the workforce needs to be reduced, then the organisation should undertake workplace consultations before deciding exactly whose positions are at risk and what alternatives are available. Those whose positions are at risk and who are interested in the alternatives should be selected to either be retained or dismissed based on standard criteria relating to skills, adaptability etc. For those who are to be dismissed, a redundancy payment should be made in accordance with at least the Statutory Redundancy payments scale, subject to having at least two years service. Sufficient notice also has to be given for the dismissal based on length of service. There are also other rights associated with redundancy.

 

I would suggest at this stage a written request for a meeting with your employer to discuss the situation regarding continued employment. Ask them whether consideration is being given to making staff redundant and at what point they intend to consult with the employees.

 

(1) Can my employer send me back to housing support and make me work weekends and a shift pattern again? No - the employer is legally bound to try to find you suitable alternative employment - if the alternative is unreasonable (even if you have done it before) due to a change in your health, personal circumstances etc then they would have to make you redundant.

(2) If my colleagues choose not to take up there offer of a vacancy in housing support. And therefore not have a job. Is this not consructive dismissal? Not neccessarily. If the alternative is 'reasonable' then the employer can legally terminate the employment with notice given as a reasonable alternative has been rejected. The same rule applies as for Q1. The employee is being dismissed because their role is redundant, the options are either redundancy or resignation, but there has to be the element of 'reason'.

(3) Are my employers allowed to 'cherry pick' who they like in this section, forgetting all about the length of service some of us have? No - the 'pooling' process must be considered with the staff to remain being selected based on a range of criteria. This would affect staff with the same title and responsibilities, so it might be for example, that Supervisors are not being put at risk of redundancy but Admin Clerks are all being made redundant, so those at risk would be 'pooled'.

(4) Are my employers allowed to re-advertise a job I have done for 2 years, and ask me to re-apply for this job? Yes - as long as this isn't straight after making you redundant and if a change in circumstances makes it neccessary to restructure again. In selecting the best candidate

they would undoubtedly take your experience and ability into account.

 

Hopefully this helps, but I have to say that I am not familiar with the peculiarities of charity work or how being funded by charity affect redundancy payment - I know that if you are made redundant by an insolvent company then you pursue the redundancy payment through the Insolvency Service, but for a Charity with no money? I haven't a clue. If the answers which you receive from the employer are not as you would wish, then it may be worth having a chat with ACAS (08457 474747) - they will undoubtedly have a much better idea.

 

Thank you very much for your very helpfull reply.

 

On point (2) Some of my colleagues have never worked in housing support or ever done this type of work and were solely employed to get people with disabilitys jobs. Will this still apply to them?

 

Point (3) They have choosen the ones they wish to keep. I have tried to arrange a meeting with my manager for tomorrow to try and clarify this point.

 

I have been told there will be no redundancys, as they need staff in housing support. Plus they have no money to pay redundancy.

 

This is a charity orginisation but we are funded by local goverment, The Big Lottery, and the European Social fund.

 

All these questions may be irelevant by the 28th of the month, as we may well have funding to continue the work we do. I just wanted to get my position sorted out before it comes to that.

 

Thank you very much once again.

 

Stretchmo

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