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Redundancy package and continuous service

Discussion in 'Pay and conditions' started by thebluehouse, Jun 7, 2019.

  1. thebluehouse

    thebluehouse New commenter

    Hi there,

    My Headteacher had a meeting with me on Wednesday to tell me that, due to restructuring, she is making me redundant as of January 2020.

    I am struggling to calculate what my redundancy payout will be. I have been a qualified teacher since 1993. I had a year out in 2001/2002 and worked in the private sector 2003 - 2008. There seems to be conflicting information about employment in the private sector and continuous service.

    Can anybody advise me on any of this? I have e-mailed my union but no reply as yet.

  2. thebluehouse

    thebluehouse New commenter

    Just to confirm, I am the DHT of a 1 form entry primary school and she described it as a 'management restructuring'.
  3. Piranha

    Piranha Star commenter

    I very much doubt if service in the private sector counts towards your continuous service, as it is very clearly a different employer. But anyway, this would only affect your minimum entitlement, and many employers offer more, so we can't advise you on what you would get. Sorry if this is obvious, but surely you should ask at your school. I was made redundant three times in my pre-teaching career, and each time, the terms were given to me, in writing, at an early stage. I would ask your Head when you see her, assuming she does not tell you without being asked.
  4. thebluehouse

    thebluehouse New commenter

    Thank you very much for posting. The decision is being finalised at a governors meeting on Thursday so I will need to wait until after that meeting for the terms.
  5. Piranha

    Piranha Star commenter

    Good luck. I hope they are generous. Minimum redundancy, as happened with my father in law, is not that great, but many employers offer more, as I think they should.
  6. Rott Weiler

    Rott Weiler Star commenter Forum guide

    Sorry to hear about this.

    First and most importantly, have you spoken to your union yet? Get their advice and support asap. Redundancy law and practice in education is complex.

    Some points to bear in mind ...

    1. There are statutory rules about the minimum redundancy pay you must be paid but most schools and LAs have policies that say they will pay more than the statutory minimum. Statutory minimum is here. It limits your redundancy pay not only to a maximum number of weeks but also a maximum amount per week that will be well below what you are actually being paid as a DHT. School/LA policies typically increase both the number of weeks and base redundancy pay on your actual salary not the statutory minimum amount.

    2. Schools and local government are in a different situation to private sector employees when working out how long your continuous service is because of something called the Redundancy Payments (Continuity of Employment in Local Government, etc) (Modification) Order 1999 ['RMO']. In effect it says that all service in the organisations listed in the RMO is treated as being employed by the same employer for redundancy pay purposes as long as it is continuous. It includes all types of schools, employment with local council, and literally hundreds of other public sector organisations [ eg list at 1/10/2017 here]. However, if you worked outside the public sector 2003 - 2008 that probably broke RMO continuity so only the years since 2008 will be counted. But get professional advice on this from your union, you never know.

    3. As you are a 1 FE primary I imagine you are the only DHT and the governors are proposing to abolish the post of DHT, presumably because they can no longer afford the current overall staffing costs. Whilst that sounds as if it would meet the legal definition of redundancy do discuss with your union. There is no legal requirement for a school to have a DHT. The union will want to ensure that the DHT post really has been abolished and not in effect refilled by someone else doing the same work with a different title (and lower salary!). Under STPCD only a DHT can be required to act as Head when the HT is off site, so who will act as Head in the future if there is no DHT?

    4. If you looking for another job in a school bear in mind you usually need a break in service before you start the new job or you may not be entitled to redundancy pay. This article gives an overview of the issue but again get specific and up to date advice from your union.

    5. When considering how much the redundancy pay offer is worth to you remember that part of it may be free of tax and NI. A very complex area, and the government is changing the rules about this. Make sure you know what you'll receive net.

    Good luck.
    Piranha and thebluehouse like this.
  7. Rott Weiler

    Rott Weiler Star commenter Forum guide

    There are no private schools on the list of RMOs I linked to. I wouldn't expect there to be, they are private companies and outside the scope of the RMO. I should have clarified in my previous post that the RMO covers all types of state schools, ie LA schools and academies.

    Insist your union involves someone at regional office level with the expertise to advise you on this - it's what you've been paying your union subscription for all these years...

    Good luck.
    Last edited: Jun 7, 2019
    thebluehouse likes this.
  8. thebluehouse

    thebluehouse New commenter

    Good advice, thanks.
  9. NIHistoryTeacher

    NIHistoryTeacher New commenter

    Edit to get rid of your name!
    thebluehouse likes this.
  10. frustum

    frustum Star commenter

    "One of the most immediate challenges I face is returning to work in September - the redundancy is scheduled (unofficially) for January 2020. I have been unhappy in my school for over a year but to return to work knowing that I am waiting for my redundancy is a horrible thought."

    It might be worth asking whether they would release you early if you are able to obtain another post before January. You wouldn't get the redundancy payout, but if you could find the right post, it might be preferable. I presume the reason it's a January finish is just because they didn't get things organised in time to give you notice in time for August? There's still the odd deputy post being advertised; most schools will probably now assume they'll need to advertise a January start, but they might be delighted to get an experienced deputy who could start sooner. I don't know whether there might be any point in contacting the local authority and local MATs in case they have an unadvertised vacancy.
    thebluehouse likes this.
  11. thebluehouse

    thebluehouse New commenter

    Yes, I have been thinking about this - weighing up the security of having a position against the payout. I am also considering whether a secondment might be an option so looking into contacting the authority about that. This seems infinitely more appealing than going back to my current school where I am not needed or valued.
  12. thebluehouse

    thebluehouse New commenter

    Aaaargh thanks!
  13. thebluehouse

    thebluehouse New commenter

    Aaargh, cannot work out how to edit post?
  14. Rott Weiler

    Rott Weiler Star commenter Forum guide

    There's a limited time in which you can edit, only about 10 minutes. Click the Report button on bottom line of the post you want your name removed from and ask the mods to remove your name.
  15. FrankWolley

    FrankWolley Star commenter

    Good advice given above.

    As someone who was, a long time ago, in a similar situation, I can sympathise. I'd advise you to get on to your Union at a high level (when told by my HT I was facing redundancy, I phoned my Union Head Office). A good Union may be able to get you out earlier, with pay in lieu of notice (I was told in February I would be made redundant on 1 September - I left at the start of May but was paid until the end of August).

    Good luck.
    Piranha likes this.
  16. Piranha

    Piranha Star commenter

    This is great if you have a job to go to. The only snag is that pay in lieu of notice is taxable, whereas redundancy pay up to £30,000 (I think) is not.
  17. FrankWolley

    FrankWolley Star commenter

    It may be now...it wasn't when I went...But even if it had been I have preferred to be paid for not attending, rather than be paid the same for working in a school and for a HT who had forced me out (and, on the very day I was informed about the "reorganisation" held a special staff meeting to tell the rest of the staff that I would be going!)
  18. thebluehouse

    thebluehouse New commenter

    Thank you for posting. I have been pondering many options of a similar nature but had not thought of this. If my redundancy pay/package is similar to being paid in lieu of it, there is no contest for me. I would much prefer to leave straight away and be paid the period up until the date the redundancy is meant to start. The stumbling block is that I cannot find out what my redundancy pay will be. Until I know this, I cannot make any comparison. I will see if I can push harder tomorrow.
    lardylegs and FrankWolley like this.
  19. Piranha

    Piranha Star commenter

    There was a thread on the area of pay in lieu of notice (PILON) some time back. The rules on this have been made stricter, and it is unlikely that an employer would take the risk of trying to dress up PILON as redundancy, as used to happen. See https://www.moneyadviceservice.org.uk/en/articles/do-you-have-to-pay-tax-on-your-redundancy-payout .

    If your employer were prepared to give you PILON and the same redundancy package at the end of it, that would, of course, be an ideal solution. But an employer doesn't have to offer such a deal, and there might be a compromise which is acceptable to both parties. In my three redundancies, I had to work until the end in two of them, both of which were due to my office closing down (they actually paid me a bonus to stay as long as they wanted), and left pretty much immediately in the third as I controlled a lot of their money and they didn't want somebody in that position making big financial decisions. It might be that your Head would prefer not to have you around next term, so might agree to something. As @FrankWolley has suggested, you should get your union involved asap. It is possible that the subject of you leaving earlier might be brought up by the school, which would be to your advantage.
  20. Rott Weiler

    Rott Weiler Star commenter Forum guide

    Although in this case it appears to be a genuine redundancy - the school has one DHT (the OP) and is abolishing the DHT post.

    When you get the proposed redundancy figure make sure you HR tell you how much of it is free of tax and NI (as explained on Piranha's helpful link). Then you can compare the net amount you will receive under the options.
    thebluehouse likes this.

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