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Hi all.

 

2 months ago I applied for and got, a really good job.

I'm in IT and this was a step up from IT support to IT manager.

The wages were, in fact, £500 a year LESS in the new job but I went there to cut my teeth as an IT manager with a view to gaining valuable experience.

 

The company I applied to work for had, in the last year or two, made quite a few redundancies.

It's an architectural firm and the recession hit them hard.

I didnt find this out until after I joined.

 

I've been here less than 2 months and now I'm having a meeting regarding redundancies next week.

Chances are I will either be let go (I cant see that, however being as I'm the SOLE IT guy in here at the moment - unless they outsource it) or will have to suffer a minimum 10% paycut.

 

Now is it me or this this VERY irresponsible of the company to be advertising a vacancy when they know that chances are, they will need to make job cuts?

I left a good, permanant job to come here and now I'm probably being forced to take a paycut or worse?

 

If the worst happened and I was let go, do I have a case for legal action due to their irresponsibility or negligence in hiring me in the first place?

I'm not a contractor who can just swoop in and out of roles, this is a permanant position and I have financial responsibilities!

 

Thanks all

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Really sorry for the position that you find yourself in, but in terms of what you can do about it, absolutely nothing I'm afraid. It's happening all over the place - one minute a business is steady enough to be hiring staff and the next, a reassessment leaves them having to make redundancies. These sorts of things have to be weighed up very carefully nowadays when deciding whether to move jobs or not.

 

As you say, as the sole IT person, it may not come to it, but if it does, then hopefully you will find something else soon. Either way, probably best to make sure that the CV is up to date and start casting the net.

Any advice given is done so on the assumption that recipients will also take professional advice where appropriate.

 

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Agreed - and this probably isn't any consolation, but if you had been there longer it wouldn't have made much difference. Tribunals are routinely agreeing that 10% cuts in wages are not grounds for unfair dismissal if the alternative is redundancy. But there are a few case law pointers, which due to your short term of employment are not enforceable, but may help you negotiate. Cuts in salary should be for a fixed period only and reviewable at the end of that period, to be fully reinstated if the business situation changes; and if not then, then reviewed again after a further period. Six months appears to be around the norm. Some employers have fared well by negotiating "non-cost" aletrenatives as interim arrangements with employees - take a cut in salary for X months and reviewable, and during that period we will give you some extra holiday leave, or working from home arrangements, etc.

 

As I said, the employer here has everything on their side because you have no claim to a tribunal, whether or not they would accept it is fair - but rather than going in "angry of West London" (which you have every right to be - but it won't help!), if you went in with calm trade-offs and reasonable arguments, you might both end up with a siituation you can live with and be happy with, and it might just serve to increase your "stock" with the employer, making you someone they can't do without in the longer term. It may get you nowhere except, as Sidewinder says, brushing off your CV - but you might fid that there are alternatives that would leave you nicely positioned in the future, some "conveniences" in the present, and not altogether unhappy with your lot. Maybe not what you expected - but the unexpected can be just as good if you think your way around it. You have nothing to loose, do you?

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I am a barrister specialising in employment law, and only represent employees. My advice on employment issues is advice - not legal opinion - and is based only on the facts you provide. If you want an accurate assessment of your case and prospects, you should get legal opinion from a lawyer - not a public forum. Anything I tell you is for guidance only, and is based on my experience of the law in the context of what details you provide.

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