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Not had a performance review since joining company 2 years ago and am now made redundant based on matrix scoring..


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Hello, I work for a fortune 500 outsourcing company providing 2nd line technical support for a top tier high profile account. But not for long, I am about to be made redundant – scheduled last working day 31st July.

 

However, the manner of which I am selected, reasons for selection, and the processes are akin to being struck across the head with a frying pan and quietly ushered out the back door.

 

It all begins on 22nd June, my company announces via telephone conference that voluntary redundancy quotas have not been met and are moving to forced redundancy.

 

1st July I receive an email from my manager inviting me for consultation for redundancy, the date and time less than 24 hours later, 2nd July.

 

2nd July. As soon as I sat down he handed me a letter dated 29th June(!).

 

‘As you are aware from recent communications, the Company has a need to reduce costs and headcount. Following our discussions, I regret to inform you that you have been provisionally selected for redundancy in accordance with the agreed selection process that was explained to you. Nothing was explained to me.

 

In the next 5 days you will have the opportunity to discuss your provisional selection with me where I will answer any questions that you may have regarding the process and your scores against the selection criteria, if applicable.

 

After our discussion and a minimum period of 5 days I will write to you again, formally confirming your redundancy if that is the final outcome. At that time if you feel that your selection for redundancy has been procedurally unfair you may appeal against your selection. The process for raising an appeal will be detailed in your final notification letter.’

 

So, in brief:-

 

o An employee is informed by letter that he/she has been provisionally chosen for redundancy and outlines the process

o In the next five days the employee’s line manager will arrange a meeting where the selection criteria can be explained. The employee can question the selection criteria and make a case as to why he/she should not have been chosen

o A minimum of five days after the initial meeting the line manager confirms or changes the decision

o If the decision is confirmed the employee may if he/she wishes appeal against the decision

 

:-I never knew anything about ‘my’ selection until 1st July. The meeting held within 24hrs of notification, instead of 5 days later.

 

:-The next 5 days fell onto my manager’s annual leave and said if he were to follow procedures he will not be able to see me and offered a colleague to stand in. I said it’s best to maintain continuity and prefer to wait until he is back from annual leave. We agreed on a meet for 15th July.

 

Later same day, 2nd July, I receive an email from the same manager saying there is an executive travelling ban with immediate effect so cannot meet me face to face and as such meeting to be held by conference phone.

 

I have bi-lateral hearing deficiency, pronounced in certain acoustic environments where I have to rely on lip reading. I sent a letter accepting the invitation for telephone conference but reserve right to cancel should I find the conversation difficult. My manager’s response was ‘find a quiet room’.

 

Meeting, 15th July. In order to hear I had to rest my forehead on the table to try to enhance the conference machine acoustics. It was very undignified and stressful, I could not follow or understand anything – i.e. discuss my matrix scoring that brought up my selection in the first place. At the end of the meeting he said the final meeting will be held by the dreaded phone again…24th July 2009.

 

Now I will try to explain the matrix score.

 

With ranks 1 to 5, 1 being lowest, throughout I score generic 3, ‘attained expectations’, however the descriptions right across the topics are very supportive and somewhat glowing, almost usable for references, and they do not befit the matrix scores. Under Conduct, ‘Interpersonal skills with both colleagues and customers’, I receive a score of 2; the clincher to my redundancy selection.

 

It says,’ Most of the time ‘xxxx’ gets on with all his team members however he needs to express himself sooner so that issues do not come to head’. I have no idea what this relates to. My attendance, admin, customer focus, call closure stats, etc; is all perfect, except somehow I have to show less restraint towards my colleagues and customers, well at least that’s how I interpret such an ambiguous comment.

 

I joined the company 17th July 2007, I’ve never had a performance review but ironically as part of redundancy selection process I find out that I am excellent but score 2 for reasons that are ambiguous.

 

Now to this bit. I am terrified of having the telephone meeting again, it is the final. After that I get the chance to appeal of which I do have an appeal letter ready. My question is this, the telephony meeting, what do I say? I couldn’t possibly go throught that again, and what about the appeal meeting?

 

I love my job, I do not want to leave and if I am made redundant I am potentially ruined. My job is 2nd line technical support, face to face, remote control, or telephony. I regularly receive accolades from my customers; some from directorate - they think I am an endangered specie. How do I translate that legally to a company that seemingly wants to sack me without thought thoroughfare?

 

One significant thing I haven’t yet mentioned. My company had 6 contractors doing my role and were offered permanent conversion. 2 accepted, remaining 4 declined. 4 new people interviewed, hired, trained up in part by me, and as soon as the last person arrived the redundancy notices ring out….. my name first out of seemingly small hat.

 

The four new hires report to a newly formed company where the HR data eventually funnels up to the same place where my HR data currently sits, they are doing the exact same role. It seems the HR department found a loop hole in the law (the new company) and as such can ‘sack’ who they like and then reel in less experienced, lesser paid individuals.

 

My situation speaks of unfair dismissal (acas, c.a.b.) but I do not want to leave, I love my job and the work is definately there, we are breaching SLAa because of the lower staff headcount where others have taken voluntary redundancy. It fits perfectly with my hearing deficiencies but I am about to be hurled out and fear similar roles will be few and far between, I seek advice on how to stop or delay my exit, or worst still and if I have to, sue my company for unfair dismissal.

 

If my case winds up at the employment tribunal, what is the best they can hit the company with, and where do I benefit.

 

Your thoughts are welcomed.

 

Rgs

 

Gordonsky.

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There is something you might try, you simply click on the red triangle report.gif, it will then open a dialogue box in which you could ask the site team to direct your enquiry to people with HR expertise, it does work.

 

Andy

Edited by old_andrew2007
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Many thanks for that Andrew, I have done as you advised.

 

For your information, my company today decided to disregard my contract which is protected by TUPE transfer and use their own generic contract which fits in their scheme of things to get me out by the end of July.

 

This is like being in a Michael Douglas movie. I hope there is somebody out there who can assist with the right advice that will put blockers on my leaving the company.

 

Many thanks for your help so far.

 

Best regards

 

Gordonsky

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Many thanks for that Andrew, I have done as you advised.

 

For your information, my company today decided to disregard my contract which is protected by TUPE transfer and use their own generic contract which fits in their scheme of things to get me out by the end of July.

 

This is like being in a Michael Douglas movie. I hope there is somebody out there who can assist with the right advice that will put blockers on my leaving the company.

 

Many thanks for your help so far.

 

Best regards

 

Gordonsky

 

 

Hello Gordon,

 

You have not mentioned how many employees are being redundant - if there are more than 20 employees being redundant there has to be a consultation period of atleast a month.

 

Now since there are voluntary redundancies, I am thinking that there are no options to redeploy you, usually when redundancies are in small numbers it is a possibilty that the company tries to put you elsewhere - I cant comment where your company possibly stands with redeployment , possibly to the new orgranisation you referred to.

 

I also feel you should not attend the 24th July meeting unless it is in person, because you are aware of the pitfalls of the last meeting( when done over the phone) and the fact that your manager has decided to proceed is bad - If he does know about your hearing disability, then he is infact being discriminatory( based on disability) - because obviously a person with proper hearing would be able to fend their case better( since they would have been less stressed picking up his words in the first place).

 

I am not very well versed with TUPE, read this thread about a not too similar case but a TUPE transfer:

 

http://www.consumeractiongroup.co.uk/forum/employment-problems/207890-possible-violation-tupe-laws.html

 

Also , is everyone on your team being made redundant? Regarding not having an appraisal and being given a matrix - there is no validity in it - because if your boss felt that your communication skills needed to be improved he/she could have send you to an appropriate training course to correct those issues . They also need to reveal what other employees in the redundancy pool got and how many total redundancies they are considering.

 

One thing to bear in mind is that once all the above information is spoken to your manager, he might get irritated as well..so what might finally happen is speculative. But, I would suggest presenting the information in as soft a manner as possible, being to the point and precise and not being rude or harsh - but it might not work with all managers.

 

All the best,

G.

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Hi

 

Sorry so long to come back.

 

I only meant that if you're going to proceed to a tribunal hearing, the other side may be watching this site so you don't want to give too much away, and give them an advantage by being prepared.

 

Regards

Liz

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For your information, my company today decided to disregard my contract which is protected by TUPE transfer and use their own generic contract which fits in their scheme of things to get me out by the end of July.

Gordonsky

 

Hi

 

What do you mean please, exactly, regarding your comment above? I don't remember you saying they were new owners of the business. I need the date they took over under TUPE.

 

Come back quickly,

 

Regards

Liz

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Gordonsky

 

I think it may be a good idea to put up the name of the thread you originally put your problem under, as you have had advice on that, so caggers can refer back to it and not repeat advice.

 

Regards

Liz

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Hello Liz,

 

http://www.consumeractiongroup.co.uk/forum/employment-problems/196425-help-please-redundancy-consultation-2.html

 

My current employer is not my original employer. I am just past two years working on a customer site. Last year my original employer lost contract extension to a competitor and they are now my current employer, tupe transferred.

Shortly after my tupe transfer my current employer got bought out by a bigger company and so forth the redundancies.

 

Your comments about other side looking in for their preparation spooked me and am obviously concerned. They cancelled final meeting today, follwoing procedures in accordance to the letter given to me at the first meeting. No face to face then.

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Hello Liz,

 

http://www.consumeractiongroup.co.uk/forum/employment-problems/196425-help-please-redundancy-consultation-2.html

 

I am just past two years working on a customer site. Last year my original employer lost contract extension to a competitor and they are now my current employer, tupe transferred.

Shortly after my tupe transfer my current employer got bought out by a bigger company and so forth the redundancies.

 

The date of most recent TUPE transfer needed.

Your comments about other side looking in for their preparation spooked me and am obviously concerned. They cancelled final meeting today, follwoing procedures in accordance to the letter given to me at the first meeting. No face to face then.

Don't be spooked, just be careful.

 

Are you sure this was a cancellation and not a postonement of the meeting? What was their reason for cancelling?

Liz

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Hello Liz

 

Saying it wasnt necessary, following processes in accordance to his letter (as per beginning of original post).

 

I received my redundancy letter today in email but the attached letter dated much earlier in the month. It says if I want to appeal then I write to him, then he will discuss it with his hr manager, and only then do they decide if there's an appeal worth hearing. I must respond within 5 days of the letter...

 

Included are conditions in the letter - dont speak to the press, do not seek recompense, etc.

 

It then says I must decide within two working days whether I want PILON and my last day is next friday, or work my notice and my last day end of august.

 

If I do not return their form signed within 2 days then will assume I accept their terms and process my redundancy and put me on gardening leave...

 

Gagging conditions before any contemplation of appeal let alone an actual appeal.

 

I am stuck.

 

Any thoughts welcomed, speedily.

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BUMP

 

Hello Liz

 

and only then do they decide if there's an appeal worth hearing. I must respond within 5 days of the letter...

Included are conditions in the letter - dont speak to the press, do not seek recompense, etc.

It then says I must decide within two working days whether I want PILON and my last day is next friday, or work my notice and my last day end of august.

If I do not return their form signed within 2 days then will assume I accept their terms and process my redundancy and put me on gardening leave...

 

Without your answering the questions of when exactly was the transfer under TUPE and how many employees are there it's difficult to give an accurate reply. However;

 

You write to the MD -you copy your manager or whoever signed the letter -

 

"Dear blah blah,

 

Without Prejudice

Employment Rights Act 1998 (amended 2006)

Sex Discrimination Act 1975

Disability Discrimination Act 1995

The Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) Regulations 2006

The Human Rights Act 1998

Grievance

Appeal against Redundancy

 

Thank you for your letter of date 2009. Please treat this letter as my confirmation that I wish to appeal against your decision to make me redundant. I consider that you have not complied with Acas Statutory Procedures for Redundancies and that you are in breach of the above legislation under UK employment law.

 

I consider that your redundancy process has been unfair and that I have been selected for redundancy inter alia because of my hearing disability. You have selected me for redundancy when my position clearly still exists, given that at your request I trained six persons in the carrying out of a like-to-same work position as myself, those six persons having been employed under the umbrella of the existing Company of (put your company's name) while purporting to be employees of the (put new company name). You have also sought to change the terms and conditions of my contract. This is a clear breach and avoidance of TUPE Regulations. You have denied me proper consultation and my right of reply by your choice of telephone conference consultation and I have suffered a detriment because of my hearing disability which has been known to you throughout my employment with you. During the telephone conference I suffered humiliation and distress.

 

Your process of selection of me for redundancy has not been transparent and fair.

 

I require that you write to me within the statutory timeframe with a date and time for my appeal meeting. I am entitled to have an observer accompany me at this meeting, either a work colleague or a UK accredited union representative, and I will advise you at a later date as to the identity of the person I have chosen.

 

By submission of this letter I am raising a grievance in that I consider that I have been treated less favourably at work and that I am being unfairly discriminated against because of my disability and unfairly dismissed because of it.

 

I require that you write to me within the statutory timeframe with a date and time for my grievance meeting. I am entitled to have an observer accompany me at this meeting, either a work colleague or a UK accredited union representative, and I will advise you at a later date as to the identity of the person I have chosen.

 

You may not lawfully impose a time limit on me in respect of my reply as to whether I agree to accept pay in lieu of notice. I reserve the right to reply to this point at some stage after both my grievance meeting and my appeal meeting have taken place. You may not arrange for my grievance meeting and my appeal meeting to be heard at the same time or on the same day, and you may not arrange such meetings at short notice.

 

Your attempt at cocercing me into agreeing not to speak openly about my situation is bullying, harassing, intimidation and victimisation, in clear breach of employment law.

 

I reserve the right to take whatever action I deem necessary. In absence of your complying with proper and appropriate Company procedure I will be proceeding with an Employment Tribunal claim if these matters are not resolved to my satisfaction within fourteen days from the date of this letter."

 

Now, this is a pretty harsh letter to give to your employer but at this stage, it's a game of bluff, and quite honestly, they're getting rid of you anyway. If you send this, you can either try toning it down, or you could send it as it is - as long as you are prepared to go to tribunal. It's very likely that it will go to Acas mediation stage and you will or will not get an award.

 

I believe, and remember I don't know the extent of your hearing problem, you will automatically get funding for the tribunal. You would have to check this.

 

Thoughts, everybody.

Regards

Liz

 

PS In case you haven't heard me say this before - I am an employer.

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Hi,

Sorry, tired last night. Add to the heading,

 

"Prevention of Corruption Acts 1906 and 1916."

 

Then, after the paragraph below, insert a new paragraph.

 

"Your attempt at cocercing me into agreeing not to speak openly about my situation is bullying, harassment, intimidation and victimisation, in clear breach of employment law.

 

Your attempt at obtaining my agreement upon the proviso that I do not pursue any damages or compensation in exchange for obtaining my notice pay and end of contract pay would appear to constitute a criminal act of bribery. However, I feel sure this was written in error and will not be pursued by you.

 

I reserve the right to take whatever action I deem necessary."

 

Etc.

 

Obviously amend this to your situation or delete whatever you are not comfortable with.

Regards

Liz

Edited by Liz Southern
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Hello Liz,

A big thank you for your contribution here. Gosh. Never have I received a major contribution of help in a time of need like this from somebody anonymous. You have given me a hole punch to use, I can now start filing. J

I already replied with questions for each condition I disagreed with, to immediately answer defiance to the 2 working day acceptance. I am waiting for a response.

But not all in vain, I will merge many of your points to my appeal letter which I have ready.

Because they have used phone methods with previous wave of redundancies I wouldn’t agree with total discrimination, just pure rude pig headedness, ignorance, and not in keeping with fortune 500 etiquette.

I have to speak in a manner of vagueness for reasons you highlighted in an earlier post. I did have a response ready answering many questions but realise that I would be putting myself to lesser vantage in a public place.

My mission is to keep my job but also to absorb advice for presentation as a last resort to the employment tribunal. They are toying with my life. Talk about human rights.

Again, many thanks. It looks like I am going be loitering the forum for a bit longer than expected.

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  • 3 weeks later...

At lot has happened since my last post

Last Thursday I had the appeal meeting (face to face) which I thought went very well.

Monday this week I received an email saying I have lost the appeal with no offer of responses for the points in the appeal except they were satisfied with the processes including the matrix score system with no performance data to work from.

They were also satisfied with evidence to warrant a low marking, the clincher for my selection, but will not reveal what evidence that is and could not tell me at the appeal nor explain the comments attached to all the scores. They did say they will speak to my manager for clarification, a person I met just once and that is at the first redundancy consultation meeting.

In a nutshell I am no better informed at the end then I am at the beginning.

The employment tribunal have the power to reinstate positions but it rarely happens becomes of relationship breakdowns. I am not sure I want to go back to be honest but if offered I would give it some serious thought because I did love the job.

What with everything premeditated; leader interviewing and hiring new staff, my training them up, receiving redundancy notification after final hire arrival, and processes not followed, it is clear I have a case for unfair dismissal.

Would I be better off hiring a solicitor firm on a no win no fee basis or leave this for the employment tribunal to deal with? What are the pros and cons.

Your thoughts are welcomed.

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