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Cheeselet

Clarity sought re: unfair redunancy dismissal

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What a great site, such generous people sharing their time and knowledge.

 

In essence, I have been targeted for some time and now find myself soon to be redundant. I believe the consultation process was flawed and I have been unfairly forced from my job. I have been excluded and bullied. I have been made very ill. I have been treated less favourably than others, and I have not been protected when raising concerns of public interest. I am speaking with ACAS tomorrow, but would like to gather as much opinion as possible.

 

Could someone help me clarify next steps please? I must protect my health and the atmosphere at work continues to be toxic and not one I could easily deploy back into, even if a new role were to be found. Additionally, I am angry and upset at my treatment and the effects it has had on me, my relationships, and my employment (both current and future). I will receive a redundancy payment, but I wish to be compensated for all the suffering caused and damage done.

 

The situation is as bullet pointed below, but please let me know if I can frame it so it is more reader friendly, and easier to respond to:

  • I have worked for employer for over 6yrs, public sector.
  • I made an official complaint under bullying policy in 2008, which whilst upheld was a lengthy and damaging process and not handled well.
  • I have had concerns re: poor management & poor systems posing a threat to patient & staff safety for some time. Took these to several managers over a four year period, each of whom undertook to makes changes.
  • I encountered further bullying 2009, which I reported but did not pursue, contributes to breakdown (stress & depression) and two month absence.
  • I return to work 2010 on a phased basis, stress and dysfunction worse than ever. A risk assessment is undertaken by my line manager. The report is poorly completed so I free text my detailed comments below theirs. This is forwarded to OH by line manager. It is never referred to again by management and recommendations are ignored. No discussion ever takes place regarding my health and known stress triggers continue.
  • Eventually I go to COO, spend an hour explaining concerns with supportive correspondence. Acknowledged as very serious and another undertaking to look into, and to be kept informed as appropriate. No written confirmation received, no updates.
  • Three months later GM of area 'retires'.
  • Line manager commences another restructure/consultation of A&C. Third one in as many years, each one very stressful. I start to be entirely excluded and after discussing this with line manager contact COO with concerns. Receive written acknowledgement of initial meeting together with confirmation that some things ongoing cannot be disclosed, but line manner will be conducting a fair review in accordance with relevant policies. I and others may be affected by this.
  • Review report (produced by outside consultants) is flawed and causes general and widespread concern. Areas 'outside' of scope commented upon, without individuals working within such areas being involved.
  • I tackle management about this. Everything becomes extremely messy and unpleasant, and I am further excluded.
  • Interim GM starts. After a few meetings GM acknowledges review not satisfactory and implements further proposals. These are ambitious but detailed and take shape, and involve my position (and only my position) becoming redundant. A senior position with similar but expanded responsibility to be created and measured. This will be ring-fenced for me. Several attempts have previously been made to force me into a similar role at existing T&C’s.
  • Interim GM leaves, new GM starts.
  • I have two meetings with new GM. First very positive, second not and very unpleasant.
  • Four week consultation commences. Day before conclusion (when I am away from work) GM widely circulates brief email confirming several changes to senior management structure. These changes impact significantly on line management of new position being proposed. I (and others) query this and am told to speak with GM directly. GM goes off for personal reasons (continuing), and no one is able or willing to explain in their absence.
  • Consultation concludes and reports that proposals will be implemented. I am asked if I wish to apply for new position. I state I am waiting for answers to queries raised. I am pressed again, stating queries will be answered in due course.
  • I meet with acting COO to discuss situation and ongoing stress within area and safety concerns. Acting COO confirms I was right to do this and undertakes to look into matter and get back to me within a week.
  • Next day I walk into email from line manager stating my queries have been looked into and taking these on board the new position will be downgraded. Several individuals are aware of this.
  • I contact acting COO to see if they are aware of this and if it is as a consequence of my meeting with them. I ask if they consider it reasonable and also if I can still expect to hear from them by the end of the week as stated. COO replies, yes, yes, and yes, no.
  • I contact HR to state that as the consultation had concluded surely the outcome (or parts of) could not simply be amended. HR undertake to discuss with management and eventually it is decided a further two week consultation will occur regarding downgrade of new position, reasons given being that additional information had been received which was relevant (from me).
  • One day into the new consultation I suffer a bereavement, which together with stress causes me to be unwell and off on compassionate leave. The consultation continues (I advise I will not be submitting further responses) and concludes in my absence, despite me hoping in the circumstances it might be temporarily halted.
  • I return to work and am entirely excluded. Local staff and individuals I manage are all stressed, upset and frustrated. I am issued with my redundancy notice.
  • I find out a local temporary member of staff with basic responsibilities is being paid at the same level as me (and above those they are working alongside) and has been for some time. I take this to HR & GM. HR has concerns due to terms of redundancy/redeployment policy. Acting GM basically tells me it's none of my business.
  • I suffer serious relapse and am signed off work (continuing).
  • HR & management regularly email me, to include notification of posts I might apply for (most junior to my present position) as per their policy.
  • I ask them to stop as it is contributing to my ill health.
  • I agree to and attend an assessment with OH. This is long and draining and the (delayed) report to management does not accurately reflect discussions.
  • I continue to be considered unfit for work and management, being conscious that my redundancy date is nearing, asks me to attend a meeting to discuss how they might help me enter into the redeployment process, and when this might be.
  • I attend, the upshot being my notice period will be extended by one month.

Thanks so much for reading.

C.

Edited by Cheeselet

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Hello

 

I appreciate it's a frantic time of year, but any pointers, on post or otherwise? Should I condense it perhaps? Could a site moderator make the title bold for me, I don't seem able to edit that aspect?

 

Many thanks.

C.

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Hello there.

 

I'm sorry you haven't had any replies yet. That is quite a long post; what you could do is edit in some paragraphs [see Edit Post at the bottom right of the relevant post] while your post is under 24 hours old and make it a bit easier to read.

 

Can you tell us in a nutshell what your ideal outcome is please?

 

I'm not sure what you mean about your title being in bold font. If you look at post one here, it looks bold to me. On this forum's front page, with all the thread titles, it will be bold for anyone who hasn't read it yet, but once you've clicked on the title yourself, it will go fainter until there is another post on it.

 

My best, HB


Illegitimi non carborundum

 

 

 

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Thanks Honeybee, I will edit as suggested. I understand the 'bold' business now.

C.

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No problem, we're here to help. :)

 

I'll be back later to see how you're getting on, but for now I have an urgent appointment with some Xmas cards.

 

HB


Illegitimi non carborundum

 

 

 

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Hi Cheeselet,

 

I can see from your post that you have been through a really tough time of late and have been given the run around on some instances.

 

All things considered, do you really want to continue to work for such a company?

 

I am by no means a legal expert, but it looks like you may have some grounds for a grievance, possibly with the aim of a case in the employment tribunal if the outcome of your grievance was not satisfactory.

 

However with the amount of stress you have already gone through, personally I would have thought you would be better off cutting your losses and getting the hell out of there.

 

Taking a case to tribunal is a huge undertaking, even if you did have a solid case and I am not saying you do or don't have a case as that is for the more legal minded caggers to advise you on. There will be loads more stress, your employer may well cheat, lie and manipulate to get out of having to pay compensation. With your current health condition I am not sure that would be the best route for you.

 

It would also make things awkward at least in applying for new jobs, how would you justify not being able to provide a reference from your previous employer?

 

I can understand that you want to be compensated for all the stress and grief caused by your current employers, but think it is important you realise what you would be taking on if you choose to go down the legal route and with no guarantee at the end of any success.

 

Of course is entirely your decision what you choose to do. Personally I would cut my losses and get out of there before they cause any further damage to your health and well being, which at the end of the day is all that really matters in my humble opinion.

 

Best wishes

DJ

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Thanks for your response DJ.

 

I understand exactly your comments, and take them on board. Like others in a similar situation though, I find it hard to let go and believe in fighting for what's right - largely why I find myself in this situation. If nobody fights back, poor treatment of individuals such as me continues (I realize it often continues regardless of folk fighting back!). I do know I have a strong case, supported with lots of written evidence, but agree it may be best to walk away. That said, I am not as young as I was, nor in great health and my sickness record reflects this. As such, finding alternative work at a similar level may not prove as straightforward as it might have once.

 

Thanks again.

C

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Cheeslet, it is always a good idea to complain at the time. Although you relate your treatment back to your raising concerns about the systems in place, unfortunately, that was back in 2008, and is likely to be ruled out of time, if you were to make a claim. However, you can ask for an extension based on the principle of a continuous act by your employer. As they have made you redundant, by only putting in a grievance now, a tribunal will ask why you did not go through the grievance process before. It looks as though they have managed you out. However, it is possible that all of your previous concerns could be classed as "grievances" if they are clearly worded as being so, even if you did not use that term.

 

Bullying in is not unlawful, so you would need to look at whistle-blowing (which might be well out of time) or unfair redundancy process. If your illness counts as a disability, then those grounds for redundancy selection would be automatically unfair (unless for capability). I would recommend you get a barrister to look over your case without further delay, as to whether there is a claim in there. Is there a union who could provided this service for you?

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Thanks for your response Pusillanimous.

 

Yes, the issues have been ongoing for some time, but until 8 months or so ago I could justify staying because I enjoyed my job, was good at it, and worked closely with many lovely individuals in a mutually respectful way. Because of key people being away at present for one reason or another, and yet more turnover at senior management level, this is no longer the case. I did start a grievance 4/5 months ago, as things were becoming intolerable and I could see where I was likely heading, but events overtook/overwhelmed me and I became unwell and signed off from work.

 

As you suggest, I will speak with a solicitor now that I am more able to seek opinion. My illness does count as a disability. I don't belong to a union.

 

Thanks again.

C

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