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Are you sensitive enough during redundancy proceedings?
It can be very difficult dealing with redundancy situations at the best of times, but it is still important to ensure that the consultations are handled sensitively. In a recent case (Thomas v. BNP Paribas) the Employment Appeal Tribunal ruled that being insensitive and giving indications that an outcome is pre-determined during the consultation phase could amount to rendering any such dismissal as unfair.

In this particular case, the employee, who was very senior and had worked at the company for 40 years, was told to stay away from work during the consultation process. He was told not to contact clients or colleagues; not to use his company mobile phone and had his computer and email access suspended. The EAT ruled that dealing with him in this perfunctory and insensitive manner could have rendered the dismissal unfair as it indicated a degree of pre-determination of the outcome and has sent it back to the Employment Tribunal for reconsideration.

The lesson here, is that such situations should not be conducted without thought for the individual and that whilst allowing someone time away from the office to consider their options, is very different to placing them on “Garden Leave”. If you are facing such a situation and need assistance, please get in touch.
Posted on 05 Dec 2016

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