HR advice - do we have any HR or employment experts I can talk to?

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Oct 2020
8:45am, 8 Oct 2020
5142 posts
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The Scribbler
This week I have been told my job is at risk. At my first consultation meeting yesterday I was told that much of the work that I currently do will be picked up by a new digital team, meaning that there's not enough work to justify my current role which will be made redundant by the end of the month.

I am awaiting a full job description for the new digital role, but have been told that the salary is £20-£22k which is considerably less than I am currently earning. I would like to understand my rights and whether they are behaving correctly.

I know Fetch is full of experts on all sorts of things, so would appreciate any professional help I can get with this. I would pay for your time or reimburse you in some other way.
Oct 2020
8:22pm, 8 Oct 2020
875 posts
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This may sound cynical but it's based on experience. Times like this, you need to be in a trade union or professional body. The job of HR is to make sure the employer pushes through the redundancies without ending up in tribunal, so they're not on your side.

Do you have buildings or contents insurance? If you have legal cover with it, that might be useful.

I used to be involved in this kind of stuff but am now out of date, I'm afraid.
Oct 2020
9:13pm, 8 Oct 2020
876 posts
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That said, some general thoughts:
- I'd be asking about the notice period, if you're being made redundant by the end of the month.
- An employer is under a legal duty to avoid, reduce, mitigate job losses and must do everything reasonable. Is it a big organization? If so, it is reasonable to ask it to seek volunteers and see if the at-risk people can be "bumped" into their posts.
- If your job is going to be replaced by a new job you should be able to apply for it and be fairly considered. I'd question the legality of expecting you to take a pay cut. I'd also look at the job description -- if it's similar enough then your post isn't redundant.
- The employer also has to be careful to avoid direct or indirect discrimination, esp on grounds of sex. So I'd be looking at the gender balance for those at risk, those not at risk, those getting the new jobs, etc etc.

Good luck. I survived several such redundy rounds at my workplace until accepting the most recent one. If you don't want to go, it's not a nice situation.
Oct 2020
9:31am, 9 Oct 2020
5143 posts
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The Scribbler
Thanks Muttley. I am not in a union at the moment, and I would think it's too late to join one to get help with this now. I'll check the legal cover situation though.

The severance package includes 1 month's payment in lieu of notice. They did not tell me how many roles are at risk, so I suspect fewer than 20 so that they don't have to carry out a 30 day consultation.

It is a large global organisation, so I will ask if they have considered volunteers. It is not likely to affect my role though, as I'm a one-off.

I can apply for that job, and am about to talk to someone about it, but at that payscale, it's not suitable for my level of experience.

I will look at the gender balance. It's a baby product company so there are more female than male employees, although not at top levels of the company.

Ultimately I do want to go. It's never really been a good fit for me and I haven't been able to use many of my more experienced skills. In the current global climate I would rather have a job than not, but I am trying to see it as an opportunity to do something that's more fulfilling, creative and has opportunities for growth.

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This week I have been told my job is at risk. At my first consultation meeting yesterday I was told ...

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