90 seconds With Sue Fairbairn on… It’s goodbye from me and it’s goodbye from him

You may, like the Financial Times journalist Lucy Kellaway, choose to leave your job. At the age of 57, after a successful newspaper career of 31 years, she has decided to train to be an inner-city maths teacher. But the leaving may not be of your choosing and we look at some of the issues.

I’m worried, with Brexit, that my company is going to be shedding staff. What should I do?

If you’ve been employed for 2 years or more, you are entitled to a redundancy payment and your notice pay. Your employer must also use a fair procedure in the redundancy. This includes appropriate pools of people being considered for redundancy, a fair choice and application of selection criteria, and consultation with you. Failure to do so may make it unfair dismissal.

My employer’s given me a settlement agreement to sign and says I need to take legal advice on it. I’m happy to accept the deal so why do I need to do this?

Your employer wants to be sure that they can pay you what’s been agreed and know there won’t be any ‘come back’ from you. It draws a line under the matter for you both. It’s usual for your employer to pay for the legal advice, so you shouldn’t be out of pocket. Having your agreement checked also means you can be sure that you are receiving everything you are entitled to, including bonus, share options and benefits.

I’m about to come back from maternity leave and my company’s been going through a restructure. I seem to be missing from the new set up!

You have the right to return to the same job in which you were employed before on the same terms and conditions. If you’ve taken additional maternity leave and it’s not reasonably practicable for you to return to the same job for a reason other than redundancy, then your employer has more flexibility in what you are offered. If your job is genuinely redundant, as you’re on maternity leave, you get priority in being offered any other suitable alternative role. Your employer’s actions here may be discriminatory and you may have a claim.

Sue Fairbairn

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At Peacock & Co Solicitors, we understand employment issues for individuals and businesses. We offer professional and approachable services tailored to individual client’s needs.

020 8944 5290 Located in Wimbledon Village
sue.fairbairn@peacock-law.co.uk

Please note the contents contained in this article are for general guidance only. Legal advice should be sought before taking action in relation to specific matters