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Redundancy now withdrawn off with WRS and now expected to return!!

Discussion in 'Workplace dilemmas' started by JJCCSS, Nov 5, 2018.


    JJCCSS New commenter

    After some advice please
    Our school has been over staffed and new budget constraints meant all classroom teachers (no management or staff with TLR’s affected) had to do a skills audit and someone would loose their job. We has some v stressful meetings, then had to submit a skills audit, although v subjective and scored by the Head. I came out lowest score, got written notification of redundancy mid October. Been signed off sick with WRS and union phoned today to say redundancy has been withdrawn as a senior member of staff handed in their notice last week! Can’t face going back after way I’ve been treated, planned to do supply and use redundancy to fall back on ....
    Anyone any advice or been through similar?
    I’m speaking to employment lawyer hopefully tomorrow... union saying school able to withdraw as my job now available because of change in staffing situation.
  2. shevington

    shevington Occasional commenter

    Note you cannot use both the Union and an employment lawyer, Clearly you can be given suggestions on this topic from the people on the Forum
    Piranha and grumpydogwoman like this.
  3. grumpydogwoman

    grumpydogwoman Star commenter

    You can leave. But they won't give you a redundancy payment. It's up to you. Sorry. They are offering you your old job back? If you won't accept? Then I'm afraid it's reasonable not to give you a payment. UNLESS you have already secured another post.

    Is it possible for an employer to withdraw notice of redundancy?
    Once notice of redundancy has been issued to an employee, it is legally binding and cannot be unilaterally withdrawn by the employer, even if the employee is still working out his or her notice period. If the employer subsequently wishes to withdraw the notice because of a change in business or economic circumstances, the express consent of the employee is needed.

    That said, s.141 of the Employment Rights Act 1996, provides that an employee who is dismissed by reason of redundancy loses the right to a statutory redundancy payment if he or she unreasonably refuses an offer of suitable alternative employment. The offer must be made before the end of the employee's employment under the previous contract and must take effect either immediately on the end of the employment under the previous contract or after an interval of not more than four weeks. The employment must either be on the same terms and conditions as the previous contract or be suitable alternative employment in relation to the employee.

    If, after notice of redundancy has been issued, the employer makes an offer to the employee of his or her old job back on the same terms and conditions of employment, but the employee turns it down, the employer can then seek to argue that no statutory redundancy payment is due because the employee has unreasonably refused an offer of suitable alternative employment. The suitability of an offer of alternative employment is an objective matter for assessment, whereas the issue of the reasonableness of an employee's refusal has to be assessed on an individual basis by reference to the employee's personal circumstances. If, for example, during the notice period the employee has already secured alternative employment, it is likely that an employment tribunal will hold that the employee's refusal was reasonable in the circumstances. On the other hand, refusing to accept a job back simply to obtain a redundancy payment is likely to be deemed to be unreasonable.


    Piranha and Rott Weiler like this.
  4. Summerhols6

    Summerhols6 Occasional commenter

    Schools have been ruined by MATS and overpaid Executive Heads who justify their obscene salaries by making cutbacks in teaching.
    agathamorse likes this.
  5. ridleyrumpus

    ridleyrumpus Star commenter

    There is a certain amount of truth to this but let's not forget the governments hand in this. By forcing academisation it can reduce the Schools budgets (per head) and then blame the schools for mismanagement.
    Betterreadthandead likes this.
  6. Rott Weiler

    Rott Weiler Star commenter Forum guide

    What @grumpydogwoman says.

    Your solicitor is best placed to advise. What did they say?

    Did they ask for volunteers first? That's usually what happens.
    agathamorse likes this.
  7. Piranha

    Piranha Star commenter

    You don't seem to have a leg to stand on regarding redundancy, as being allowed to keep your job must count as 'suitable alternative employment'. Your only hope may be that the school has treated you badly enough to have some kind of claim against them. If this is possible, then your union may be able to negotiate some kind of settlement. So your union is where yo need to go next, as none of us can possibly say if this is the case.
    agathamorse likes this.
  8. oldsomeman

    oldsomeman Star commenter

    I would have thought that while you are on WRS you cannot be accepted to do anything.Your OFF SICK due to stress,so thatmust be dealt with first before you worry about going back.
    When your ready to go back then the difficult choice has to be made,,,if it hasntalready been made for you by being sick and they wanting rid off you.
    Again get legal advice and the issues should be handled by your union.
    BUT if you are sick I am not sure you can be applying for other work as your not well. So it can be pointed out you cant look for work till you well or even come to meetings.They might just give you redundancy to get rf ogg,as it where.
    agathamorse likes this.
  9. Piranha

    Piranha Star commenter

    It seems to me that the issue is that the school does not want the OP to leave, or at least that is the official line. Of course, this may be a cynical attempt to get the OP to leave of their own accord, thus avoiding redundancy pay. It is also true that, if alternative work is available, they must offer it to somebody down for redundancy, so this might be the schools' motivation. Whatever the school's reasoning, it does seem that the legal position is that they can avoid paying redundancy by offering the old job back. There is no point is saying that you can't apply for other work while off sick (you can, but there can be difficulties with interviews) as you still have a job.

    Where the union might be able too help is if the school has treated the OP badly enough to justify a claim.
  10. catbefriender

    catbefriender Lead commenter

    The cynic in me has been activated and I believe this may well be the new way of getting rid of older staff cheaply. :( I pray that I am proved wrong.

    Hang in their @JJCCSS.:) It aint over till it's over and try not to incur any costs pursuing this, unless you have to. The union have to fight your corner and as someone else as said, if you get solicitors involved, they can decline to support you. Remember, that the rule is if you commence legal action, the union have to withdraw support, gaining legal opinion should not result in you losing your union's support.
  11. Piranha

    Piranha Star commenter

    The problem with this is that there does not appear to be anything to fight with. If redundancy is not now needed, I believe the school is not only within its rights to offer the OP their old job, but may even be legally obliged to do so, under their obligation to try to find alternative employment. And, the quote provided by @grumpydogwoman makes it clear that, if the OP turns it down, there will be no redundancy money.

    There does not seem to be any grounds for making a claim based on other actions by the school, apart from the vague "after way I’ve been treated". If this does mean more than being picked for redundancy via a skills audit, then the union will know if there is enough to do anything about it. Or, they may manage to talk the school into making a Settlement Agreement with some compensation and an agreed reference. Schools sometimes will do this as an alternative to having somebody off sick in the long term.

    If you do end up negotiating, I suggest you don't let the school know this. If they have firm grounds for thinking you will never return from sick leave, they could try to justify dismissal on medical grounds.

    I agree with others that it is probably not a good idea to use another lawyer. They are unlikely to be able to tell you more than your union can and you might end up losing your union's support.
  12. grumpydogwoman

    grumpydogwoman Star commenter

    I know it's not what you want to hear but I think the union is right. The school, on the face of it, has done nothing untoward.

    Initiating a skills audit was the correct procedure. We know you disagree with the interpretation of the results but the union doesn't appear to think the initial redundancy situation was mishandled.

    You are bound to feel rejected after everything that has gone on. Redundancy isn't pleasant. But I fear you simply have to make a decision - go back and accept it was just one of those unfortunate things and you're not exactly top on the HT's Christmas-gift list OR move on as you feel you've lost the confidence of your colleagues.

    Now I don't know if there's been workplace bullying or what else might have gone on. But, on the face of it, those are your options. Stay with a good grace. Or go of your own volition.

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