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unsavoury surprise during an unpalatable redundancy process

Published 13 October 2021

Being made redundant is a horrible experience and when it is done unfairly it makes matters even worse.

Our representatives are experts at dealing with such cases and achieving  a good outcome for an aggrieved employee.

Covid and the pandemic are now regularly being cited as a reason for a redundancy dismissal that is clearly unfair, as in the case of restaurant worker Qasim.

He was summoned to his manager’s office, told his job no longer existed, given an apology and told he would receive statutory redundancy pay.

Stunned Qasim was assured the pandemic was to blame, because it had forced the business to restructure and there was no other option.

Qasim had eight years’ continuous service, he was the longest serving and highest paid member of the waiting staff team.

He was a TUPE transfer to the new owners when they purchased the restaurant. The company ran a number of other eateries.

Qasim believed the decision to dismiss him by way of redundancy was unfair, so contacted the Castle Associates Employee Support Centre for help.

Our representative requested from Qasim all of the details  of the redundancy process his employer had given to him. He had nothing, which made it very obvious the process was unfair.

Qasim was the only person made redundant, no consultation took place with him and he had not been given any details about the apparent restructure.

He explained he was called into the office, simply told what would happen, and then handed a letter detailing how much redundancy pay he would receive.

Qasim explained that at the end of the meeting his manager asked to have an off the record conversation with him, which he agreed to.

His boss said if he went without a fuss then as a gesture of goodwill he will be paid an extra £300. Qasim rejected the offer.

The letter that confirmed Qasim’s redundancy did not inform him he had the right to appeal.

Our representative contacted the employer to request that Qasim be allowed to appeal. The company initially refused to allow him to do so.

The business said if Qasim was unhappy with the decision he could have raised a grievance, but did not do so.

Our representative challenged the refusal to allow an appeal, as Qasim’s length of service and the unfair redundancy process meant he could pursue a case for unfair dismissal.

Following an exchange of email correspondence, the company eventually allowed Qasim to appeal.

Prior to the appeal hearing our representative requested a wide range of information from the employer.

It included the business case for redundancy, details of the new structure and full details of the redundancy process conducted.

The employer provided nothing in response, and was adamant it would discuss everything at the appeal hearing.

Our representative argued the request for information was reasonable and it was required to enable Qasim to fully prepare for the appeal hearing. However, the company was resolute in its stance.

Qasim was asked by our representative what his desired outcome was to the appeal.

He explained he did not want to be reinstated, as he had lost all trust and confidence in the business.

Ideally Qasim wanted compensation for being unfairly dismissed and felt that a settlement agreement would be ideal.

A settlement agreement can be used by both sides in a dispute to resolve a problem or end employment.

At the appeal hearing it was straightforward for our representative to demonstrate the redundancy process was unfair.

He made the point a decision to dismiss can automatically be found to be unfair if the process conducted was unfair, as in Qasim’s case.

The level of compensation an employee can be awarded following a successful unfair dismissal claim  to an employment tribunal was discussed.

It was used to initiate a conversation with the company about a settlement agreement, and compensation payment to Qasim.

Discussions and negotiations continued after the appeal hearing. Qasim later accepted a settlement he was delighted with.

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For employment law advice or if you are affected or want information and support by any of the issues in this article please give us a call. 

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