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Unfair disciplinary with redundancy looming

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Feeling so confused so apologies for this..

My boyfriend Mark has worked for a small company for over 2 1/2 years and they are currently facing financial difficulties. 2 months ago his boss suggested a 10% paycut to all 8 engineers to get them through the next few months. This was collectively agreed. One month later Mark went into work and he and another engineer were given a letter stating that they were being laid off for 3 weeks and if things hadnt picked up by then, then the redundancy process would start. With 3 young children, losing a wage for 3 weeks was scary. Mark spoke to ACAS and they said that they couldnt actually do this and suggested he not sign it. He told his manager who then called all engineers in for a meeting and 2 other engineers offered to take time off unpaid. They were told that these engineers would then not be included in any future redundancy process (although this was not stated to Mark when he was informed he was being laid off). Anyway, this evening he received a letter inviting him to a disciplinary meeting due a customer complaining about him, and also included vague comments about his attitude and unhelpfulness. It also included a line that if it was deemed to be gross misconduct he would be dismissed there and then.

He did have an informal meeting with his senior team 3 months ago about another customer's complaint, a friend of his bosses but there was no written warning. Apart from that he has never had any criticism of his work, was given a good report from a recent appraisal from the company's major contractor.

He's tried to through to acas tonight but no luck so far. He was told that one of the factors for considering redundancy would be disciplinary history, as well as geographical location (which they stated in his orginal lay off letter was a reason they were choosing him) He can bring a colleague to the disciplinary and is going to ask for details of the complaint . However I fear that he could go to a disciplinary, get a warning and even if he appeals it as it is such a small firm, with no other managers, his disciplinary would be upheld.

He doesnt have a contract, although he did ask his senior engineer about this not long after starting and was told that having a written contract would make life harder for all engineers as it could state they have to work more hours etc.

Its a horrible company and I would love him to leave and get something else but the thought of him being out of work just weeks before christmas is just gutting..

Any helpful comments would be massively appreciated.

Thanks

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Hello and welcome to CAG. I'm sorry to hear about your problems.

 

I hope the forum guys will be along over the course of the day with advice for you.

 

My best, HB


Illegitimi non carborundum

 

 

 

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I cant offer any advice on the disciplinary bit but for redundancy there are several hoops an employer has to jump through whilst selecting staff for redundancy and they have to prove that equalities legislation is adhered to so there may be something to look at when it comes to that time. With regard to his contract, his employer has broken the law by not giving him terms and conditions of service-contracts are not necessary- but he will ahve an implied contract and that is good enough to show what your duties are by basically doing the job and not other things. Ther is some mileage at a tribunal with this to get the employer a kick in the backside but not a reason to go there.

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