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Continuity of employment - Warning

Discussion in 'Workplace dilemmas' started by rowlingson, Sep 8, 2019.

  1. rowlingson

    rowlingson New commenter

    I have just been through a horrendous time which has resulted in me deciding to leave teaching.
    I started work in a local authority school about 25 years ago. I was a TA for 5 years and then moved into teaching. 8 years later the school became one of the first primary academies with another local school. We were all TUPEd over. I loved the work and very slowly moved up to SLT. Finally, I decided that I was ready to move to the next step (Headteacher) and very reluctantly left my old schools. I took on a local authority school. After a year that school is going to be taken over by an academy who want to bring in their own leadership team. I tried to stay, the local authority said I should stay but no go. So that is the sorry tale, however, only the background.
    I now find that because I had only been in post for a year I have no continuity of employment, therefore no employment rights despite working for 17 years within the same authority.
    This has a huge impact on the way that I have had to leave. If I had wanted to go down the constructive dismissal route I would need 2 years continuous service.
    With the mix of academies and LA schools and movement between them, I feel that this must be an emerging problem. I have left behind staff, experienced but new to the school, who are terrified that they could also 'be asked to leave' without the legal backing that they thought they could get.
    Because I wasn't facing capability or disciplinary proceedings my LA and even Union haven't been sure how to handle me.
    Knowledge of this situation could stop teachers moving between schools or seeking promotion. Some could feel trapped in schools purely for financial safety.
    I found one LA who acknowledge service in academies, there may be more. Academy to academy is also a problem.
    Start telling colleagues about this situation, perhaps your Union. I have only just heard about it - too late!
  2. Rott Weiler

    Rott Weiler Star commenter Forum guide

    Were you being made redundant? There is continuity of employment between academies and LA schools (in either direction) for statutory redundancy.
  3. Lalad

    Lalad Star commenter

    I'm not sure how there can be. In an academy, the Board of Directors/Trust is your employer, whereas in LA schools, the LEA is your employer.

    Doesn't continuity of employment for statutory redundancy depend on continuity of service with the same employer?
  4. Rott Weiler

    Rott Weiler Star commenter Forum guide

    No. Not in the public sector. The Redundancy Payments (Continuity of Employment in Local Government, etc.) (Modification) Order 1999.


    But it's only for statutory redundancy. Not for other purposes, not, eg, for determining whether you could bring a unfair dismissal claim at Employment Tribunal.
    strawbs likes this.
  5. Lalad

    Lalad Star commenter

    Thank you for explaining that @Rott Weiler.
    It does seem quite worrying that the OP in this situation should have no redress after such a long period working in the same local authority.
    jlishman2158 likes this.
  6. mothorchid

    mothorchid Star commenter

    I did move LEAs in my time and came up against something similar. I fought against it, saying I had always been employed as a teacher, even though I had moved schools and that my 28 years needed acknowledging. I was successful although in the end I didn't get redundancy, it went to a different colleague. The school I left to move to another area was an acadamy, but had been Grant Maintained, so we were TUPEd over.
    Sorry to hear of this problem, OP. Union might be able to help here.
  7. Doitforfree

    Doitforfree Star commenter

    In all fairness, it's only the normal situation that exists in most jobs. If you get a new job with a new company then you're starting afresh.
  8. snowyhead

    snowyhead Lead commenter

    Public sector jobs are different, otherwise NHS medical staff would not move between hospitals, civil servants would not move between government departments etc.
    tenpast7 and jlishman2158 like this.
  9. starlightexpress

    starlightexpress Occasional commenter

    As you’re in a LA, are there not any other roles they could signpost you to? In my experience, LA Advisors have a fair bit of influence in being able to move people into other LA schools.

    Is the school becoming an academy, taken over by a Trust? I don’t understand how a school is taken over by an academy- is another standalone academy taking over your school? Usually all existing staff are taken on under TUPE and then any movements of staff occur after this process. I’ve not known a HT to go before any transfer. That’s odd. Is the move to academy status occurring due to the school’s performance? You’re not under any formal process, however possibly seen as part of the legacy, albeit only there a short time (so could be part of the solution). Again, odd as usually you’d transfer over. I guess they’ve ‘asked’ you to go knowing you have no employment rights. You’ll have continuity of employment if LA or TUPE (and some trusts honour it). However you broke this by moving between employer for the academy and then back to LA.
  10. Piranha

    Piranha Star commenter

    Does this apply to unfair dismissal as well? If not, then there is no need for redundancy for somebody with less than two year's service.
  11. Rott Weiler

    Rott Weiler Star commenter Forum guide

    No - see post #4. The continuity of employment is only for statutory redundancy, nothing else. But that has implications not only for someone's entitlement to receive redundancy from their current employer but also to their redundancy rights if they get a job soon after redundancy with another employer covered by the RMO.

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