Redundancy is an awful thing.
Or a very good thing.
Okay - how can it be good? Well if you've been with a company for ten years, they're offering a decent redundancy package and you were going to resign anyway, then it rates as a miracle sent by the Gods (should they exist).
If you are a big company it can be a good thing as it means you get to get rid of lots of members of staff who you don't want anymore without having to go through the rigmarole of finding ways to sack the buggers.
On the other hand if you've been with a company six months, you're getting statutory redundancy and the job market's as welcoming as a packet of cigarettes to an asthmatic non-smoker with a chest infection, then this rates as a fairly disastrous turn of events.
What Rights Do You Have.
Pretty much. If you look at the small print the company can pretty much do what they want. Honestly. There are a couple of rules they're meant to follow but by and large they can hang you out to dry and jump up and down on your barely breathing corpse.
Not all companies do this, of course. It doesn't look good to any remaining staff who might start looking elsewhere pretty sharpish, or to any new recruits they're trying to get on board. That's about the only thing that stops them though.
For example : a company can tell you what the redundancy package is, promise you a certain amount, but until that money turns up in your bank account it's not legally binding. This can be a worry to people who are being made redundant and have 1) bills. Actually that's everyone so you don't really need to go any further with the list.
Got any more examples? Of course...
Depending on the number of people who are being made redundant, companies have to enter into a consultation period. During this period they have to have meaningful consultation with the staff. They can ignore what the staff say, just as long as they have a meaningful chat about it first. There are certain pieces of information that they have to divulge to the staff in this consultation period, but no rules on when this information is divulged. So with a 90 day consultation period you could get the information on day 89 if the company so wished. Which is handy.
Here is some advice for those people about to get involved in a redundancy situation:
If you find yourself on the verge of becoming highly involved on the staff side of a redundancy then here's what you need :
1) Internet Access
As you will be spending half of your days searching through the DTI and ACAS websites trying to find the merest scrap of information which might help yourself and your colleagues.
2) A Phone
To call the DTI and ACAS because after three weeks you still haven't found the relevant areas in the twenty page long documents hidden on the website which cover the precise question you're trying to answer (quick hint - don't bother. Just take it for granted that it works in favour of the company and you won't go far wrong).
3) A Well Stocked Medicine Cabinet
You'll be needing family size boxes of aspirin and anti-depressants. If it all gets too much some kind of laxative might also be in order.
4) An Understanding Boss
Because it takes an hour and a half to walk from the toilets back to your desk because of all the questions that you're going to get asked, you certainly won't be getting much work done for a month or two.
5) A Psychiatrist
Because no matter how much work you do you will still spend every evening lying in bed with your eyes wide open worried that you haven't done something properly and you've let people down. The more you find out about what the company can do the more stressed you get.
So What Should You Do If Redundancy Comes To Your Place Of Work?
1) Spend day one registering with agencies, updating your CV, and sending it out.
2) Cancel Christmas
3) Go on holiday (hey, it can't hurt!).
So when the consultation period is over and everything is sorted and you find that you are not being made redundant, surely then you'll be happy?
Not even close.
Reasons why you won't be happy:
Your company has just made a significant number of people redundant. It's hardly going to be the most fun place to work anymore. And what about the possibilities of more redundancies in the future...
Think how many leaving collections you're going to be putting into, and how many night's out you're going to have attending leaving dos.
3) More Unease
Did you really do all that you possibly could for these people?
And every week you get to see more of your friends and colleagues walk out of the front door never to return.
Did you really do the right thing in staying? Look at all those people happy to be leaving, going into good jobs and with a reasonably healthy bank balance. Look at all the glum faces round the office, think about the money you would have received if you'd accepted, think about the career paths that would have opened up in front of you...
No wonder people turn to drink...