Redundancy after 26 years – how not to do it!
I got a phone call last week in from an old client contact. He was ringing for himself as after 26 years service he was being made redundant.
What particularly annoyed him was that the MD, who he had worked with for all of that time, was on holiday when this redundancy was to take place! The MD didn’t even have the guts to look this guy in the eye and tell him himself! What a wimp!
Anyway the company expected my (now) client to leave quietly with just his statutory pay. All others had done. Even when their current HR provider said to them “You are getting on a bit now, it will be good for you to spend time at home at your age” – which is automatic age discrimination!
No way this one was going quietly. They tried to finish the whole process within 7 calendar days, before the MD came back from holiday, so he wouldn’t have to deal with any “unpleasantness”.
However, it took a bit longer to get my client out. We raised a grievance about the redundancy. They had to deal with that before going on. We appealed their decision. When we got to the next stage we raised another grievance. And appealed their decision. Which slowed the whole process down.
Financial gain for my client to date? An extra 3 weeks pay before they made him redundant.
Financial loss for his company? Exactly the same 3 weeks pay that they were hoping to get out of, and paying external HR consultants and senior management to attend meetings, respond to letters, etc.
Plus the niggling pain of having a “thorn in your side”. Serves them right for treating him so badly after so many years of service.
And the saga is not yet over…
Moral for employers? Have the guts to look employees in the face, even for bad news.
Moral for all employees? Don’t just walk out the door – you have rights – use them!