For help, advice and discussion about stuff not related to aviation. Play nice: no religion, no politics and no axe grinding please.
Because if that does happen then it is acceptable. Managements function is to manage, if they make mistakes, intentional or not just like employees do then they should expect to suffer the consequences. That is why employment tribunals exist.
stevelup wrote:No, that's totally wrong. This employee is miles off the point where they are entitled to be accompanied.

It goes like this:-

That's in a unionised environment for large groups at risk.
For an individual it could be one meeting - the consultation ... onsult-you . You have no right to be accompanied unless pre agreed by an employer (again, often in a unionised environment) ... %20meeting.

Best of luck to them.
No it's not. The procedure I described is exactly the one for a small business.

The link you provided doesn't contradict anything I wrote, just simplifies it. If you read between the lines of ...

By law they must meet you at least once. They might need to meet you more than once to make sure they can respond to your suggestions or requests.

... and ...

Your employer does not have to make the changes you suggest. They do need to show that they've listened to you, considered your ideas and tried to come to an agreement.

... you see where the 'second and third informal meetings' that I describe come into play.

Trust me, I know more about this than I ever wanted to know thanks to a wet market in Wuhan.
Viv and I have faced this once each - faces didn't fit after a change of management. Legal advice in both cases resulted in a fair compromise - neither were massive payouts but they were more than double the initial offer plus the legal fees, and all negotiations were conducted with studious politeness. What I don't know is whether how a compromise agreement is treated w.r.t. state benefits.

Been on the other side as well. That's never fun either.
Pete L wrote:...neither were massive payouts but they were more than double the initial offer plus the legal fees, and all negotiations were conducted with studious politeness.

Sounds a lot more civilised than @FlarePath's suggestion of letting them bump you so you can go back and have your life dominated by fighting them over the next couple of years. :thumright:
Agree. What you may or may not be legally 'entitled to' after a courtcase/tribunal etc. is a monetary amount which rarely makes up for the hassle, pain and emotional drain of going through said procedure. (Also note the word 'may'. Sometimes the law is an ass and things do not turn out the way you would want them to).
Some people of course relish that sort of thing but most people are probably better off negotiating something in good faith and not fighting something in bad.
This is my personal experience of the redundancy process after 22 years working for one of the UK's largest blue-chip companies, I mention that because I presume that means they followed the process to the letter.

Firstly there were no problems with either my performance of my job or the companies businessfinancial performance.

I had been in a home working role for 15 years, so I was in the routine of regular meetings (6-8weeks) with my line manager to review business and personal performance.

I attended one such meeting, meeting the manager at a hotel (quite normal), on meeting the manager in the foyer he said, "just to let you know XXX will be sitting in on today's meeting, it's nothing to worry about" (where XXX was the HR manager).

We sat down in a meeting room, spent a few minutes exchanging the usual social pleasantries. My manager then said "we've got something we want to talk about today, but before we start, I'd like you to take a look at this", at which point he slid his laptop in front of me and hit the play button to begin a PowerPoint presentation.

What followed was a review of the UK business management team (of which I was a long-standing member). Within a couple of minutes, I realised that the management team was being reorganised, I also noted that my job title didn't appear anywhere in the presentation. And that is how I learned about my redundancy. This was the meeting that effectively started the consultation process.

This was a complete bolt from the blue, until the PowerPoint started rolling I had no idea my future was about to change. However, I knew I was sitting on secure redundancy terms (our business unit had been subject to a TUPE transfer just a couple of years previously so we were all well acquainted with our t's & c's).

I took the redundancy money, paid off the mortgage and started a new way of life, my own Ltd company started 7 years ago, I'd be the first person to admit that redundancy may not always result in such a happy ending. But the process started with a hijacked meeting with me on my own.
I've had to make redundancies a few times. The largest being about 200 at the time that online was killing off contact centres.
I wasn't happy with any of the processes. It felt like the need to be seen to be following correct process and have an audit trail superseded the need to be human, honest and empathetic with colleagues.
It is the right to consultation often caused the most confusion. You tell 150 people in a call-centre that you're consulting them on the prospect of redundancy, and it divides the floor between the optimists and pessimists (realists?). The optimists cling to the hope of 'it's only a consultation' - but most are genuinely confused as a to 'so are you shutting the place down or not?' ..... the honest answer is almost certainly yes, but HR don't want any signals of presumption, so you end up creating weeks of confusion, false hopes, anger, conspiracy theories, and even creative plans to save some costs round the edges.
The day of the 'big meeting' to start the process was the most difficult day of my career by some margin.
Pete L, Elecy, defcribed liked this
Back in the early 90's I was told I have to lose 10% of my worldwide team, every one of whom I knew personally to a greater or lesser degree.

It was the worst time in my career, worse in fact than when 'my job was at risk', and I kept my sanity during that period by starting my PPL lessons and burying myself in ground studies!
Rob P liked this
In the circumstances outlined by the OP I think the person needs to think carefully about the possible options before the meeting so s/he is as prepared as possible for any number of discussions. These situations require some forethought about what the person would want to do should the threat - or offer - of redundancy arise to avoid being caught off-guard.

I would always want to avoid the legal route if at all possible: it can be fraught with difficulty and the outcome uncertain. Tribunals are focused on the procedure and if that is correct (and it often isn't) then such appeals face an uphill struggle. And if the company wants to get rid of someone, even for the wrong reasons, it can be difficult to stop them and indeed successfully challenging the process may well add to the breakdown in the relationship leading to an unhappy work environment.

So, unless continued employment is the only desired outcome, in my view one approach is to decide and focus on what I want out of the situation, usually an enhanced payout, and plan to get just that. This may mean saying at an initial meeting that I need to think further about the proposal, then perhaps further discussions about how I wish to avoid acrimonious internal appeals leading to discussions about how I wish to avoid expensive and time-consuming employment tribunal hearings and how that can be avoided by a timely agreement on severance terms. Negotiation is usually better than confrontation in these circumstances.

Not sure about HR practice now in respect of having a colleague at such interviews, but in my experience this was usual only for disciplinary proceedings and involved a union representative. Not sure I would have ever objected to a colleague attending at other interviews, though, if the person wanted it.


Rob P liked this
As I say - you have no legal right to be accompanied, but often employers agree with unions, have in their policies or individuals have in their contracts, the right to be accompanied - its seen as good practice and it helps an employer show that they have taken the consultation seriously. Last time we went through the process with my employer, they were happy for individuals to be accompanied although it wasn't part of any formal policies - few took up the offer.
You do have the right to be accompanied by a colleague in disciplinary meetings.

If there are less than 20 people being made redundant then there is not laid down, formal process. Typically its 3 interactions:
1: You are at risk
2: Individual consultation
3: You're being made redundant.

1 and 3 can be letters / emails - they don't have to be a meeting.
1 could be a group meeting.
2 may be a single meeting or could be a series of meetings.
1 & 2 could be combined (although bad practice as consultation isn't likely to be meaningful if employee is in shock, and so there is a chance of it being challenged).
3 should only happen once all parts of the consultation have been considered. In theory it could be combined into a meeting with 1&2 but as it would then be very hard for an employer to show they have taken the consultation seriously they would be open to challenge, so its generally separate.

Lots of grey areas.

I would also agree with others in saying that you don't want to go the legal route unless you can't avoid it. Better to be as constructive as possible. From what I hear from others its a slow, painful process which is rarely worth the effort. For example, my employer shortened the consultation period (illegally) last time - wanting to get redundancy notices out before Christmas, but I was advised that if you go legal, and the employer can show they did meaningfully consult, the most you would get at tribunal would be an extra weeks pay.
rikur_ liked this
Just a quick word of thanks to all who contributed here and elsewhere

The company has a process and that process commenced yesterday afternoon at the meeting as suspected.

The important thing was that I was able to assemble a cheat sheet, so nothing was unexpected and to a certain degree she was well prepared

We almost certainly won't be fighting it, though there are still strong suspicions confirmed by others in the organisation that there are personal rather than role-related reasons driving this..

Rob P
Last edited by Rob P on Fri Oct 16, 2020 3:10 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Avoided an obviously malicious exit process once by moving to a different department but if the malefactor's in HR, a lot harder to deal with unless the direct management can pull some strings. But some choice questions about alternatives might flush out the truth even if there's no intention to take advantage of them.