My line manager left the company early Jan– I work as a PA – that was followed by restructure joining two business units under one MD. The new MD didn’t make any contact with me and following many emails to HR I was told that my role was now moved to another location and that I will have to relocate with my family or will be made redundant. The new MD’s PA was not put at risk and she carried on with her role as well as taken over my role – I was put at risk by phone, informally, and was told of another possible opportunity that I might be interested in but it was for a lower level working for a team..as I felt I was selected unfairly and the fact that I was not consulted with formally I put a grievance as I was told that location was the only factor, taking in consideration that I was in my role as PA to the MD for 3 years and was able to move around the various offices as I have the technology, laptop and phone, I was able to be mobile and proved that I can I do that in the 3 years. The new MD wanted someone based at the new location permanently, the base of his PA of course, and different to where he is based! I argued that he could have been fair and based his PA where he is based so that both of us, PA, were treated fair but was told by HR that would have been unfair on him! I was signed off by doctor for stress following months of uncertaney and worry – when I was back to work I decided to try the only job available, the one I was told about back in Feb, we are now in April! Had a meeting with HR upon returning to work following stress then holiday to be offered compromise agreement, I was told that the company didn’t follow the correct procedures! I didn’t accept and asked to try the role I was offered – then I was told I wasn’t offered the role and that I had to go for an interview to be considered for it, pls note this role was in the same location but different function, in the meantime I was asked to provide interim support to another Director from a different function in which I did.following the interview I was told that I did extremely well but the manager felt that I was unable to support a large team and that I lacked experience in this field! Pls note that prior to the interview I asked HR if training will be provided and was told yes! But all this was not in writing it was verbally agreed in the various meetings held. I was now told that consulation will start as I am still at risk and was told there is another role that will be available soon which I can apply for – I did apply and have an interview next week. Please advise me of the following:1- Did the company follow the right procedures buy leaving the consultation till June! Considering I was put at risk, I have an email from HR to prove that, back in Feb for one reason only which is location?2- Should the role of PA to the MD for the new business unit based in the new location been advertised internally instead of the MD continuing with his PA – company procedures on all new roles is to be advertised and interviews has to be held which is something I found out recently from HR. The company is seen as fair to all employees that way – but that was not the case here as the MD’s PA carried on with her role and mine! So in reality my role still exist and the office that I was based in still exist! 3- Would location only be considered as fair – taken in consideration that I have worked three years in this role and proved that it can be done from various offices. The MD works from various offices as well as his line manager the CEO. The technology is there to assist, laptops, mobile phones, remote printing etc.4- Was it fair that I was told to go for the interview for the first role when they knew all along that I didn’t have the skills to do it? I was told by HR that I was unsuccessful not by the manger who conducted the interview. I was also told that the Director felt that I will not be staying in the role and that I will be applying for another PA role within the company when that becomes available.5- By asking me for an interview is it because they are not sure if I am suitable for the role? If I am successful would that be considered as suitable alternative? If so why didn’t they offered to me without the interview or is it because they are following the company procedures in ensuring all new posts are advertised and interviews are held in which proves that they were unfair if you see point 2 above.6- I am on the 2nd stage of grievance – awaiting a response what will happen if I am offered the role and I have not heard the result of my grievance yet? Can I try the new role on offer, which is in a different location but one that I might be able to work but not sure until I try it? Or do I have to wait for the results from the grievance? Can I try it and still not accept on the grounds of location ( as different to the one I am based in) currently working from home as an interim and also the new role is for a Sector Direct
Province/Country relating to question: London
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Hello, my colleague has asked me to assist with your query as it is more my area of law. So just to be clear - why were you selected for redundancy?
Two Business Units merged together - my role was moved to another location. I was asked to relocate but I am unable to due to family commitments ...the other PA kept her role as she is based there while I was put at risk..I was informed of this verbally by phone then by email but no consultation held until now!
To answer your questions:1. there is no defined period for consultation in circumstances where there are less than 20 employees being made redundant. So whilst you may have been placed at risk a few months ago, the employer is not obliged to consult within any specific time as long as it is done before the redundancy is confirmed.2. Difficult to say because one may argue that this was not really a new job - there was already a PA to the MD job and it could be argued that it was simply having extra duties added to it, without it actually being classified as an entirely new role.3. The legal framework is as follows: according to Section 139 of the Employment Rights Act 1996, a redundancy situation can only occur in one of the following circumstances: a) Business closure – where the whole of the employer’s business is closedb) Workplace closure – closure or relocation of one or more sitesc) Diminished requirement for employees to carry out work of a particular kind.Neither the business nor the workplace have closed so the only reason they can rely on is the last one. That is when you may argue that maybe you and the other PA you should have been placed head to head for redundancy and that some objective selection method used to decide who gets the job4. Not really - they still need to give a chance to try should you wish to and attempt to show that you do have the necessary skills if possible5. If the post is in a different location and you cannot move, then you may certainly argue that the position is not a suitable alternative. I cannot comment on the reasons behind their decision to do what they have done as it would be pure speculation6. You may still take the role if you are happy to do so. The grievance should not be affected. You can ask for a 4-week trial period if you want to. You can still reject it after the end of the trial period without having your rights affectedImportant information: As professionals on this site, it is extremely important that our customers rate the service we provided. This only takes a few seconds. I would therefore be grateful if you could please choose one of the following options: OK Service, Good Service or Excellent Service. If you feel the need to leave a lower rating, please reply to me first with any further questions you have. I will be happy to assist further and clarify anything you need me to. Thank you
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