Forum

Redundancy and my rights

Hi all,

I am really looking for some help if possible please? The last week for me has not been a great one in that I received the old "heave ho" and was told that due to financial issues within my organisation, my post was being made redundant!! I have been there for a number of years - I begun originally in Oct 99 and moved to their "sister company" in July 02 when they became their own entity, however, I don't remember receiving a new contract. The issue here is that I have been told that the old policy for redundancy entitles me to 1 months salary for every year I have been with them OR the new redundancy policy which is 1 weeks salary for every year I have been there - as you will see, the difference is huge! The trouble is that I am unable to find the original contract I received back in 99'. Does anyone know my rights here and where I may legally stand?

Also, as I have RRMS, when applying for a new job / registering with agencies, do i have to "consider myself to have a disability" even if i am currently "fully abled" ?

Any advice anyone is able to give me will be greatfully appreciated as the way I have been treated over the whole redundancy saga I feel is disgusting and I want to ensure that my company do not get off lightly and have a "bumpy ride!".

Thanks in advance.

Ken

Hi Ken,

In theory, if your employment is transferred to another company, under the Transfer of Undertakings Protection of Employment regulations ("TUPE"), your terms and conditions are preserved intact, as at the date of transfer.

So unless you have accepted a new contract since (employers typically force this through by linking it to a promotion, or something else the employee wants), you should still be on the same terms you were on with the first company.

I'm still on the terms I had when I transferred to my present employer in 1994!

How you go about proving it is a different matter.  My company is quite good, inasmuch as they do seem to have kept records of who transferred, and on what terms.  My terms, like yours, are much superior under the "old" contract.  I've never been offered an incentive to sign a new contract, and so I never have.

In the meantime, many of my colleagues have been induced to switch, and now find they have much reduced protection in the case of ill health or redundancy.

Is there anyone else who transferred at the same time as you?  There's a chance they might have a copy of the contract.  But HR should know anyway.

One slight downside I should advise you of is that if you actually wanted redundancy (since you are ill anyway), the realisation of how expensive it's going to be (under the "old" terms) may mean it's not on offer anyway.  A colleague and I were just talking about this the other day: how it's unlikely we'll ever be offered redundancy, when the company sees the price tag.  They're vehemently opposed to big redundancy payoffs, even when enshrined in someone's contract.  So they'd prefer the person just gets fed up and leaves, rather than write them a fat redundancy cheque.

As far as applying for new jobs goes, in general there is no obligation to disclose anything about your medical history, and potential employers are no longer even allowed to ask.  There would be some safety-critical jobs where you would have to declare any known fitness issues.  I don't know the exact law on this, but I'd assume "airline pilot" would be one, for example.  But I'm sure it would be made clear during the application process, if there was anything you have to declare, by law.

Basically, if the job doesn't require it, you don't have to say anything.  You certainly don't have to declare yourself "disabled", or anything of the sort (although there could be occasions when you consider it to your advantage to do so - e.g. where the employer is committed to "diversity", and actively encourages disabled applicants).

Tina

Hi Tina,

Many thanks for your reply. From what you advised me I really need to dig out the original contract I received back in 99! If I'm unable to find it then I just hope that the HR Dept from the 1st company still have it on file......

Thanks once again - your help is appreciated.

Ken

Hi Ken, Tina has given you a great reply, so can’t add much to it.

I would just say that I think that standard redundancy is £380 for every week you have been there, so you obviously have enhanced terms way beyond that level. As Tina says HR should ave a copy even if you don’t.
I also transferred to a new company but kept previous terms.

I would hold out for as much as you can though, I don’t think my company would enhance redundancy payments much, a bit like Tina said, but some companies do, just to get employees to go quietly with no fuss. My husband works for a big american company and they certainly do this, an extra few thousand and the employee doesn’t make a fuss seems worth it to them. So without knowing your company hold out for as much as you can, they may enhance it even further.

Cheryl:)

Sorry Ken, I meant £380 for every YEAR you have been there (check google). Cheryl:)

Ok, me again, £430 (I’m way out of date) for every full year up to a maximum of 20 years, enhanced a bit if you are over 40. Your terms sound much better than this.
Cheryl:)

Hi,

I would suggest the ACAS website as a good place for info about your rights in redundancy.

www.acas.org.uk - it's easy to understand and accurate.

 

Jane

Ken, I'm sorry you are having such a difficult time.  

I have a big point and a small one.  The big point is, how confident are you that they have not taken the opportunity to finger you for redundancy because you have MS?  For instance, how many other people have been made redundant? what was the selection procedure for redundancy?  did they ask for volunteers?  is there anyone else there doing the same sort of work as you who has been there a shorter time but is not being made redundant?  Etc.  If you think it is not being done fair and square, then I strongly recommend that you take professional advice - CAB or an employment law solicitor.  I'm assuming you are not a member of a Trade Union - if you are then their legal department or advisor is the plae to start.  Apart from anything else, it would show your employer you have got their number, and that improves your negotiating position on terms, if nothing else.  

The small point is -  might you have a letter relating to the 02 transfer that confirms the transfer to the new employing entity and says something like, 'your terms and conditions are unchanged'?

But it's the big point that's the important one.

Good luck

Alison

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