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Advice please

(24 Posts)
Ceesnan Mon 04-Feb-13 10:57:06

I'm hoping that someone can help me please. I've just heard from a friend that her daughter is losing her job with E*n, the electricity provider. She has been there for 6 years and worked her way up from call handler to a team leader, in charge of 30. She was told on Thursday that she would be leaving this Friday, along with quite a few others, with no redundancy payment as in 2009 they found she had put the phone down on four people! They are saying that this is reason enough to let her go, but I would have thought that they should have taken action at the time and not gone on to train her up to the team leader position. She is going to CAB sometime this week, but can anyone suggest anything in the meantime? Thanks

Anne58 Mon 04-Feb-13 10:59:07

I think there are procedures that the employer must follow, i.e. written warnings etc before they can just fire someone, might be worth looking on the ACAS website?

Marelli Mon 04-Feb-13 10:59:51

Was she not given 'warnings' (verbal, written, final)? Ceesnan? The company would have to follow procedure. hmm

Marelli Mon 04-Feb-13 11:01:03

phoenix - I was just a few seconds behind you there!

Anne58 Mon 04-Feb-13 11:01:39

ACAS Helpline:

Call the Acas helpline on 08457 47 47 47 for free and impartial advice

Might be quicker than CAB as they often have a backlog which can mean long wait times for appointments.

Movedalot Mon 04-Feb-13 11:01:52

Yes, she has to be given a warning and possibly a Personal Improvement Plan She should object in writing. I do wonder if there is a little more to this though as it seems unlikey such a company would fire a group of people like this

Ceesnan Mon 04-Feb-13 11:06:10

Unfortunately I only know the bare bones of it from my friend's email, so couldn't say if she had a warning, apparently the company is getting rid of about 200 employees while recruiting new ones at a lower rate. Thanks for the rapid response by the way, much appreciated and wll pass it on to my friend.

kittylester Mon 04-Feb-13 11:15:17

Acas were brilliant when DD2 was being messed around. Though she solved it herself by getting pregnant and taking redundancy.

glassortwo Mon 04-Feb-13 11:18:55

ceesnan there are procedures companies have to follow with regard to releasing staff and if they have not covered this they may be hit with tribunals etc ACAS will give all the advice your friends Daughter need to assess if the company carried thing out correctly.

Ceesnan Mon 04-Feb-13 11:30:06

Just had another email from my friend. Apparently Eon overspent on the building of new offices and the high earners are being got rid of to make up for the shortfall. I have passed on thr ACAS details. Thanks again.

Anne58 Mon 04-Feb-13 11:32:23

I bet they aren't getting rid of any HOD's or middle management though!

Movedalot Mon 04-Feb-13 11:35:21

Please keep us informed. I am sure ACAS will help her, they are very good.

glammanana Mon 04-Feb-13 11:42:28

Some where in the back of my mind I'm thinking a Company cannot make people redundant and replace them straight away,even at a lower rate this is not acceptable.Acas best people to speak to asap.

Anne58 Mon 04-Feb-13 12:08:33

That is true of redundancy, but not if you are getting rid of people for other reasons.

Movedalot Mon 04-Feb-13 12:11:36

I think that if they are getting rid of 200 people suddenly and going back to something that happened 4 years ago they are on very dodgy ground! You can't suddenly decide on Gross Misconduct for that number of people. Even if it was it would usually be summary dismissal.

FlicketyB Mon 04-Feb-13 13:10:10

Does she belong to a union? If so she should speak to her union rep. Unions are incredibly helpful at times like this. I was ever grateful for my union membership when I too faced discriminatory treatment at woprk.

Dismissing her now for a events that happened in 2009 is so unreasonable that I doubt it would stand up to scrutiny at a Tribunal, particulalrly if it could be shown that her work had been consistently up to scratch since that event. It is just a weasly way to see if they can get away with sacking her at minimum cost.

gillybob Mon 04-Feb-13 13:21:42

There is absolutely no way they can simply "get rid" without redundancy Ceesnan and one incident of "putting the phone down on a customer" could not be construed as gross misconduct by anyone. There are very strict rules to be followed including warnings, written warnings, final warnings etc.

I would urge your daughters friend to begin proceedings for unfair dismissal.

Ceesnan Mon 04-Feb-13 13:46:45

You have all been so helpful, thank you so much, I knew it was worth asking here for advice. I will pass on everything to my friend, and give any updates when I get them. This is Gransnet at its best! smile

ayse Mon 04-Feb-13 15:23:59

I'll second Gillybob. They have to give written warning of redundancy and the criteria need to be available. Definately contact ACAS, see what they have to say and if possible go for unfair dismissal. Perhaps she could also get everyone together who is in this situation and take joint action.

I've just joined Unite (£12 pcm) just in case I have similar problems at a later date. It's like having an insurance policy and access to free advice etc. I'd recommend anyone who thinks they may be in similar difficulties to consider this course of action. You can sign up and have payments taken directly out of your bank. I'm one of the lucky ones - at least I have a little spare finance that allows me to do this. smile

Ceesnan Sun 17-Mar-13 07:37:40

Just to update.... My friend's daughter has kept her job thanks to intervention by her union rep and advice from ACAS. She has been demoted, given a written warning and had her annual bonus axed, but they could not lower her hourly rate so in a way she is better off with same salary but fewer responsibilities. Sincere thanks for all the advice.

bluebell Sun 17-Mar-13 08:19:42

Union fees are tax deductible - don't tell George or Danny!

goldengirl Sun 17-Mar-13 16:14:08

It's jobs that are made redundant - not people, or so I'm led to believe. This means that companies can't recruit people they've made redundant for the post they held. I also believe that there has to be a redundancy procedure to follow to avoid constructive dismissal claims etc. I doubt whether anyone can be dismissed for something that happened so long ago. Action should have been taken at the time and usually there's a time limit on warnings etc.

Glad it's now been sorted Ceesnan

Jadey Sun 17-Mar-13 16:50:06

Due to customer satisfaction being a very important part of industry now a days, most companies see putting the phone down on customers, on 4 occassions as a big negeative.

They probably need to make cuts and have gone with workers that have made this mistake.

As others have said the best place to go is CAB and ACAS because not getting redundancy does not seem right to me.

Lilygran Mon 18-Mar-13 10:05:20

If they have made a post or some posts redundant especially where they are the same jobs or similar, the employers have to demonstrate some fair system of selection for redundancy. Last in, first out or closing a section is bad luck for the individuals but isn't usually seen as discriminatory. Looking at people's employment record and trying to pick the least committed and least competent is an absolute minefield but some employers happily set off across it without being sure there won't be recriminations and legal action. There are other legitimate ways of letting people go who don't meet the company template but long drawn out and time consuming. Generous pay off is the usual tactic.