Redundancy grievance appeal for pre determined consultation
A grievance appeal concerning a redundancy situation whereby our client was singled out unfairly. The process was predetermined, the consultation was inadequate and a colleague was unofficially given the nod to take over the job when our client was going to be ‘made redundant.’
The Bussey Building
133 Copeland Rd
London, SN15 3SN
Chief Operating Officer
Caftee International Development Ltd
100 Southbound Street
Leeds, LG1 8PW, UK
By email only: Tim.firstname.lastname@example.org
28th April 2016
I am writing on behalf of my client, William Spencer, in relation to his appeal against his dismissal on the grounds of redundancy which took effect on 15th May 2016.
My client’s grounds of appeal are as follows:
There was not a genuine redundancy situation
My client contends that there was not a genuine redundancy situation and will rely on the fact that the rationale for making the role of Practice Leader of the Economic Growth Practice changed throughout the consultation process.
By letter dated 30th April 2016 my client was informed that he was at risk of redundancy. The reasons given included; insufficient income to maintain staff levels; lower than expected win rate for large projects; and the need to reduce operating costs. At the first consultation meeting my client sought to challenge the rationale for this using empirical data.
Subsequently, the reasons for being put at risk of redundancy changed. The new rationale included performance against financial budget, utilisation rates, GP per staff member within delivery, pipeline of future bids and win rates for smaller-sized projects. Once again my client challenged this rationale based on empirical data.
Notwithstanding this Caftee pressed on with the redundancy process and it became clear to my client that the decision to dismiss him had already been made.
My client contends that clearly there is still a need for the role of Practice Leader and my client believes that the position will be back filled by another member of the Economic Growth Practice.
My client will rely on the fact that the shift in the rationale throughout the process was a clear indicator that no genuine redundancy situation existed that that instead the role would be carried out by someone else within the team.
The consultation process was inadequate
The time frame for the consultation process did not give adequate time for Caftee to properly consider the numerous alternatives put forward by my client.
As you are aware, the time line for the consultation process was as follows:
30th April – First meeting, my client was told he was at risk of redundancy;
31st April – First consultation meeting;
5th May – Second consultation meeting;
12th May – Third consultation meeting;
14th May – Fourth consultation meeting.
At the meeting on 14th May 2016, only two weeks after my client was told that he was at risk of redundancy, he was informed that his employment would terminate the following day. It was clear, given the speed of the process, that Caftee did not have time to consider the numerous alternatives to redundancy put forward by my client including:
- That Caftee accept that the rationale for the redundancy process was flawed and that my client be taken off the ‘at risk’ of redundancy list and return to
- That a proportion of the Practice Leaders’ remuneration package be dependent upon winning large contracts, and reduce technical oversight roles in order to fully align incentives to perform against Tetra Tech’s criteria;
- That my client supports the GEMS4 programme in Nigeria – as proposed by management in mid-2015. The objective of this would be to improve the quality of programme management and performance of the Programme, support a plausible narrative that Caftee is investing in senior UK-based staff in driving Programme delivery and protect Caftee’s immediate revenue stream;
- That my client transfers to the E&R Practice. This was an option initiated by my client earlier in the year;
- That the rationale for the demotion from Practice Leader of Economic Growth to Senior Principal in mid-2014 was to create institutional space for the newly-arrived Head of Programme Delivery. My client contends that the fact that this has not worked in reality is accepted universally and the creation of Practice Leader roles for EG and GSJ in January 2016 was in recognition of this. As a consequence, my client put forward that the value-add for continuing to maintain the Head of Programme Delivery position should be reviewed;
- That as the main concern with performance in the Economic Growth Practice was with the failure to win bids, my client contended that it would be logical to look at the potential for cost savings in the Business Development team;
- That my client produces a management audit of Caftee International Development Europe which addresses the management weaknesses identified above which would be finished before the arrival of the new General Manager, Ben Ward, in August 2016.
My client contends that inadequate consideration was given to the matters set out in a-g above and that the consultation process was therefore unfair.
The selection pool was not properly drawn up
My client contends that the selection pool for redundancy was unfair. His job as Practice Leader was interchangeable with the roles of the two Senior Principals within the Economic Growth Practice and that therefore they ought to have been put in a redundancy pool together.
It would appear that Caftee did not give proper consideration to placing my client in a selection pool with the Senior Principals or offering him a job on a lower salary. My client notes that one of the other Senior Principals has now also been made redundant and my client contends that all three of them ought to have been pooled together.
My client further understands that his role is now likely to be backfilled by the one remaining Senior Principal. This is further evidence that not only was his role not genuinely redundant but also that the roles were interchangeable and that therefore they ought to have been put in a selection pool together.
Suitable alternative work was not properly considered
My client put forward numerous alternative roles that he could have undertaken within Caftee as set out in c, d and g above. My client contends that inadequate consideration was given to these proposals.
Instead, the only alternative proposed by Caftee was to look at a Zelda Technologies website which had no jobs in International Development (of any grade) within the UK.
The length of the redundancy process meant that it was impossible for my client to try and find another position within Caftee in any meaningful way.
In addition, and as set out above, Caftee ought to have considered moving the Claimant into a Senior Principal position within Caftee.
My client was subjected to unlawful age discrimination
My client notes that he is older than the two Senior Principals. My client contends that the real reason he was made redundant was due to his age. He will rely on the matters set out above in support of this, and it particular that the Senior Principals were not included in the selection pool with him.
Please contact my client within the next seven days with your proposals for arranging an appeal meeting.
With kind regards
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