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Issue Date:- 23 December 2008
REDUNDANCY: MAKE SURE YOU ARE CLUED UP ON YOUR EMPLOYEE RIGHTS
wanting to add to the consistent wave of negative news surrounding
the credit crunch and impending recession, it’s practical and
reasonable for all employees of businesses across all industries in
the country to be prepared for how an economic downturn could impact
them; whether it is a reduction in benefits, straight forward pay
cuts, or even at worst case, redundancy. “It won’t happen to
me” is a common reaction, and it might not. But if it does,
you’ll want to ensure that you have equipped yourself with as much
knowledge and information as possible to ensure that you are treated
fairly and reasonably and that you get what you are entitled to.
Make no mistake, businesses can and will suffer under poor market
conditions and sometimes the only feasible option for their survival
is to make jobs redundant. It is difficult for most people not to
take it personally as it unavoidably becomes an emotional and
distressing experience; but such measures should always stem from a
legitimate business decision. Providing the correct procedures are
followed, however unpleasant or distressing it is, you can have
peace of mind that you weren’t unfairly dismissed. Here are some
things to consider if you find yourself in this unfortunate
You should have known your job was at risk: If you have just been
called into a meeting with your manager and told that you have been
made redundant, this should not be the 1st conversation you have
ever had about it. You should already have been called to a separate
meeting, where your employer should have warned you that your job
was at risk. If this hasn’t happened, then it is likely that your
employer has not followed the correct procedures and you have the
right to appeal against your dismissal and/or decide to take further
action at an Employment Tribunal. Your employer should also be
consulting with all staff that are likely to be affected by the
proposed redundancies in order to discuss options that may be
available to them to avoid job losses.
Why did they decide to select you? If you are one of the employees
selected for redundancy, did your employer take you through the
selection criteria they used for making the decision to let you go?
Your employer needs to be able to prove that your role has been made
redundant and if it is a matter of reducing head count, they need to
confirm to the reasons why you were selected over others in the pool
of employees at risk.
Get what you are entitled to: Make sure you have been paid
everything you are entitled to. All employees are entitled to be
paid all wages owed to them, any holiday that you have accrued but
not taken and the appropriate notice pay. Your entitlement to notice
pay will be specified in your contract of employment, however, if
you do not have a contract or it does not cover this point then your
statutory entitlement will be 1 week for every complete year you
have been employed with that company up to a maximum of 12 weeks. If
you have been employed for over 2 years, then you will also be
entitled to a redundancy payment.
Going to tribunal: The cost of privately funding a case if it goes
to tribunal can be anything up to £5000 in fees. It is not cheap,
but many solicitors will consider working for you under a
contingency fee agreement, which means that they will take an agreed
percentage of any compensation you recover if you win your case –
not if you lose. It is important to note that there are strict time
limits for pursuing claims at the Employment Tribunal. As a general
rule, you only have 3 months less 1 day in which to make a claim at
the Employment Tribunal. There are some exceptions to this rule,
however, you should always take advice from a solicitor regarding
What you may recover: There are 2 elements to any damages you may
recover if your claim for Unfair Dismissal is successful – the basic
award which is calculated in the same way as redundancy pay, and a
compensatory award which is largely based on you loss of earnings.
If you feel you have been unfairly dismissed – firstly, you will
need to have worked for the company for at least one year. You would
then need to fill in the necessary forms to take your employer to a
tribunal. If any money is still owed to you, you will need to first
write a grievance letter and wait 28 days for a response before
issuing a claim. If it is ignored and you are still out of pocket
you can then take your claim to the employment tribunal. Any
earlier, your case would be rejected.
Get legal advice:- Speak to a solicitor if you are serious about
taking your case to tribunal. A good solicitor will be able to
identify firstly if you have a case, and secondly if you have a good
chance of winning. This is vital if you are to avoid incurring legal
costs that you will not be able to get back even if you win.
About MTA Solicitors:-
Established in 2001, MTA Solicitors provides a wide range of legal
services including personal injury, conveyancing, employment, debt,
corporate law, general and commercial litigation and dispute
resolution (including arbitration), IT and e-commerce, banking and
finance, trusts, wills and probate, trust litigation and contentious
MTA Solicitors clients span across many different business sectors
in the UK and overseas; including major UK and global insurance
companies, domestic and foreign banks, foreign law firms, offshore
trustees, transport operators, local authorities, agents and service
providers, and individuals.
MTA has offices based in London, Kent and Manchester and employs
over 250 lawyers. Please visit:-
www.mtasolicitors.com for further information.
City praised for keeping children safe
Council’s work to keep children and young people safe has been
praised in a new independent report. The annual performance
assessment by OFSTED has rated Liverpool's children's services as
‘good’, with an overall score of 3 out of a possible 4. For the 1st
time, Liverpool achieved a grade 3 in all 7 areas of the report.
OFSTED found that Liverpool is safer for children than many other,
similar cities, with 72% of young people saying that they feel safe
in their everyday lives. The report also found that huge progress
has been made in reducing the number of children and young people
who offend, with the number of 1st time offenders falling by 10%
The council ‘continues to deliver services that are of good quality
which result in good and improving outcomes for children and young
people.’ The report praises the ‘notable difference’ the council is
making to young people’s lives, ‘particularly the most vulnerable’
and the ‘strong drive to narrow the gap between outcomes for
The service is praised for improving educational attainment at a
faster pace than nationally - in particular at GCSE level, with
Liverpool surpassing for the first time in 2008 the national average
for the percentage of pupils achieving A*-C grades.
And the work to improve the health of young people in Liverpool is
‘improving year-on-year’, with the success of the city’s National
Healthy Schools scheme highlighted.
Liverpool City Council’s executive member for children, families and
adults, Councillor Keith Turner, said:- "We are making good
progress in improving the education, health and well-being of the
city’s young people, and I’m delighted our achievements over the
past 12 months have been recognised by OFSTED.
I’m especially pleased that we have been rated as ‘good’ in all 7
areas of the report. It’s testament to a consistent level of good
work, across the board, in a wide range of challenging areas.
We are committed to giving children in Liverpool the best possible
start in life, and helping them develop into achieving, healthy and
safe individuals. This report shows we are heading in the right
OFSTED highlights the high proportion of schools in the city which
are now judged to be ‘good or better’. It also commends the
council’s commitment to inclusion, which have seen school
attendances increase and exclusions fall.
And the report praises the strong leadership in the service,
partnered with a firm commitment to listen to young people's views -
including consultation around the city’s Children and Young People's
Plan and Parenting Strategy.
Stuart Smith, executive director for children, families and adults,
said:- "Our staff are working really hard to keep young people
safe, give them a better education and provide them with every
chance to succeed in life – so we are really pleased with this
praise from OFSTED.
Receiving a grade 3 rating in every area of the report reflects our
commitment to providing high quality services for all children -
from our most vulnerable to the highest achievers.
While the report recognises our track record of sustained
improvement in all areas, we know there is much still to achieve,
and we will continue to build on the work we are doing to create
better futures for all our young people.”
Liverpool has been awarded a Grade 3 in the following judgement
areas; overall effectiveness; being healthy; being safe; enjoying
and achieving; making a positive contribution; achieving economic
well-being; and capacity to improve.
It is the 2nd year running that Liverpool’s children services have
achieved an overall rating of ‘good’ from OFSTED in its annual
Pay levels now
falling inflation, negotiated pay increases have remained steady and
have in fact risen slightly on last month’s headline figure. The
median (mid-point) pay settlement levels recorded by Labour Research
Department’s Payline database rose to 3.9% in the three months to
November, a rise of 0.1%. The November Retail Prices Index (RPI)
inflation figure was 3.0%. In October the pay settlement level was
3.8% and the RPI was 4.2%. The three-month pay settlement
levels have remained fairly stable throughout the year, despite a
small dip last month, while inflation started the year at 4.1%, rose
to 5% in July and September, before falling back to its current
The Payline figures show a clear difference between the private
sector, where the three-month median increase is 4.2%, and the
public sector, where it is only 3.0%. There is little difference
between manufacturing settlements – a 3.9% increase – and the
service sector – 4.0%.
The latest pay figures are published in the December 2008 issue of
Workplace Report. The Payline database records details of pay
settlements and agreements on terms and conditions negotiated by
unions, and holds around 2000 agreements in total
for the whole of the UK economy.
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