anyone with knowledge of employment law? HELP

Discussion in 'Home Life & Finances' started by petchy, Jan 26, 2006.

  1. petchy

    petchy Well-Known Member

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    bear with me girls, this could be a long one.... basically just wondering if any of you know whether i have any rights. basically this is what has happened:

    i work for a company that relocated last year to out of town, which meant an increase in travel time and costs for me - but i had no choice but to go with them due to the fact i was pregnant and needed to get maternity pay. i was debating with myself if it would be worh going back after mat leave due to the time and money spent on travelling, childcare costs, and the time lost with baby etc. but i thought it would be a good safety net in case i had to go back after mat leave for financial reasons - at least i'd have a job to go back to. so i told them i would take OML and AML, just to keep my options open so i could potentially go back after OML. (i now know i will have to do some kind of work to get extra money in if we are to manage the bills.)

    and then this happened about a week ago: the company decided to relocate yet again... not too far away, but to a town where there are no trains to, so it will be impossible for me to actually get to work at all since i don't drive. travel time would in any case increase from 3 hours a day to 4, as i'd have to get a bus into town, walk to train station, train to nearest town, bus to the town where i'd be working and prob a walk from the bus to work.... not possible! especially with a baby at home and me possibly needing to get home at short notice!

    i am on maternity leave now, so luckily it won't affect my maternity pay, but they made no effort to let me know what is happening. everyone else had a letter about it, but if it wasn't for some good friends of me at work i would know nothing about it still. the letter they sent was fairly vague as well, but it seems people will be offered the option of taking voluntary redundancy, and that some people will be made redundant regardless. now i believe my job is fairly secure in itself, but in effect by relocating they have made it IMPOSSIBLE for me to return to work. since i am on maternity leave i do officially still work for them, so i'm wondering if there are any rights i have in this situation?? like will i be able to take them up on the offer of voluntary redundancy AFTER my maternity leave ends? i know i'll get next to nothing in any case, but every little helps as they say...

    any advice anyone?!?!? what would you do in this situation??? sorry if i've rambled on and sorry if i've explained it in a confusing way.... hope you're able to make sense of my ramblings.
     
  2. lauramumof2

    lauramumof2 Well-Known Member

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    In not 100% sure but if they relocate to a place you cant get too then they have to help you in some way by either offering you a postion in another location ( if thats even an option) or the redundancy.
    I would check this out with your citizens advice and contact your company to see where you stand and why you werent notified. You still have the same rights.

    Get everything in writing from your company.

    Laura.
     
  3. petchy

    petchy Well-Known Member

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    thanks laura. we don't have a CAB here in leicester (ridiculous i know) but we do have something called the "law centre" which is pretty much the same. problem is they like you to make an appointment to come in and see them rather than deal with you on the phone, so i'm gonna try to explain that it might not be possible to keep an appointment as i could go into labour any day! lol

    hopefully they will be able to give me some advice.
     
  4. Sunshine

    Sunshine Well-Known Member

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    Petchy - just a thought - try calling ACAS. They are really helpful over the phone. You can get the number off the website - I googled for it. Hope they can help you out, I'm sure you would be entitled to take redundancy, but they will be able to confirm it for you. Good luck.

    Sunshine
     
  5. Tan

    Tan Well-Known Member

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    Hi

    Tanya - my wife, has asked me to help you with a query below, just to let you know I am a Personnel and Training Manager and a Chartered Member of the CIPD. Looking at your comments above I have a few suggestions:-

    I would agree with Laura that if they relocate you they should offer you suitable alternative employment within the company, they could suggest that the job that they have offered you is suitable and therefore if you were to turn this down you may not be entitled to a redundancy payment, of course if you took voluntary redundancy this would not be the case.

    If you have been employed for less than two years then you are not entitled to any redundancy pay, for ways of how to calculate redundancy pay look at www.dti.gov.uk/er and look up the reddy reckoner.

    They may not have sent you a letter by accident so I would not look at that too much, try phoning them and asking for a copy of the letter that was sent out.

    The reason for the vagueness of the letter is that they are probably stating that they are at risk of redundancy. This can be quite a difficult piece of employment law and can be complex, one of the key issues when making somebody redundant is that they should follow a statutory dismissal procedure (for details of this again look at the above web site) in that they have to invite you in for a meeting provide you with information before the meeting, hold the meeting with you and then give you a right to appeal, if they make you redundant without doing this then the dismissal is automatically unfair, which when combined with the fact that you are on maternity leave could push the value of any potential claim that you make. (sorry if that does not make much sense just ask the law office about it).

    Regarding taking up voluntary redundancy, normally a company has a time limit on this so I do not think that it would be able / have to provide you the oppotunity to wait until the end of your maternity leave before giving you voluntary redundancy as the key to your rights are that you should not be disadvantaged and that this would give you an advantage over those that are working.

    One thing that you should think of is that under the flexible working rights you now have the ability to apply to work from home and this could enable you to continue working. Of course this depends on what job it is that you are doing, please note it is only a request to ask the company can still turn this request down.

    If I was you therefore taking everything into account I would look at the redundancy package available (remember you can get this tax free and it should include your notice period and outstanding annual leave) and then compare that to how much you will earn on maternity leave (remember you pay tax during OML) and then make your decision from there, having travelled for one hour to work with one child I would suggest that you need to look for something closer to home but that is obviously your choice just remember that you cannot regain those first years with your child.

    Well that is enough rambling from me if you have any further questions then Tanya has told me to tell you to PM her and I will answer in that way.

    Hope that this helps.

    Tony
     

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