Company Insolvency and Protective Awards by the Government’s Redundancy Payments Office

Either company insolvency should become a ‘special circumstance’ meaning the obligation to consult with workforce could be dispensed with in this case, or perhaps reduced to a shorter and more manageable period, or the rules regarding Redundancy Payments Office safety nets could be amended so that the RPO does not pay out on protective awards.   This would still leave employees able to claim their protective awards against the company but at least they would not be directly funded by the taxpayer where company insolvency is concerned.

 

 

Background:  The number of company insolvencies is likely to rise by the end of 2010.  Returning a business to profit in the short term generally means significant cost cutting of the kind only achieved by reducing staff numbers meaning redundancy costs have to be absorbed by a business that is already financially distressed.   The trouble is that the company is damned if it does and damned if it doesn’t.   Non-compliance with the consultation rule means employees can claim what is termed a ‘Protective Award’ at an Employment Tribunal, compelling the company to pay up to 90 days of salary by way of penalty for failing to consult with staff (though this may be reduced if some consultation takes place).   There are few exceptions to the consultation rule and as matters stand at the moment, a company being unable to pay its debts is not one of them.  

 

 

 

 

 

 

Why is this idea important?

Either company insolvency should become a ‘special circumstance’ meaning the obligation to consult with workforce could be dispensed with in this case, or perhaps reduced to a shorter and more manageable period, or the rules regarding Redundancy Payments Office safety nets could be amended so that the RPO does not pay out on protective awards.   This would still leave employees able to claim their protective awards against the company but at least they would not be directly funded by the taxpayer where company insolvency is concerned.

 

 

Background:  The number of company insolvencies is likely to rise by the end of 2010.  Returning a business to profit in the short term generally means significant cost cutting of the kind only achieved by reducing staff numbers meaning redundancy costs have to be absorbed by a business that is already financially distressed.   The trouble is that the company is damned if it does and damned if it doesn’t.   Non-compliance with the consultation rule means employees can claim what is termed a ‘Protective Award’ at an Employment Tribunal, compelling the company to pay up to 90 days of salary by way of penalty for failing to consult with staff (though this may be reduced if some consultation takes place).   There are few exceptions to the consultation rule and as matters stand at the moment, a company being unable to pay its debts is not one of them.  

 

 

 

 

 

 

Respect for Civil Servants’ Employment Contracts

The idea is for the Coalition Government to respect the terms and conditions of civil servants employment contracts and not try to bulldoze through retrospective changes to redundancy terms.

Why is this idea important?

The idea is for the Coalition Government to respect the terms and conditions of civil servants employment contracts and not try to bulldoze through retrospective changes to redundancy terms.

Compulsory redundancy at Royal Mail

At present there is no such thing as compulaory redundancy at Royal Mail. Instead, those who fail the periodic "assessment centres" whereby they essentially have to re-apply for their jobs, are allowed to remain on full pay until they find a new job. So, essentially, they are still employed, they just don't have to do any work! In Chesterfield, where RMG has a major administrative office, there is someone earning £53,000 per year in the IT department, who, due to the above policy, has not done any work for the company since 2003.  In order to become profitable and competitive, Royal Mail must be allowed to make people redundant and then stop paying them!

Why is this idea important?

At present there is no such thing as compulaory redundancy at Royal Mail. Instead, those who fail the periodic "assessment centres" whereby they essentially have to re-apply for their jobs, are allowed to remain on full pay until they find a new job. So, essentially, they are still employed, they just don't have to do any work! In Chesterfield, where RMG has a major administrative office, there is someone earning £53,000 per year in the IT department, who, due to the above policy, has not done any work for the company since 2003.  In order to become profitable and competitive, Royal Mail must be allowed to make people redundant and then stop paying them!

Repeal the ability of Parliament to change employment law where it is the employer

In the present economic climate this Government wants to "streamline" the Civil Service. Understandable. However, having made this announcement, it now also wants to change employment law to allow it to circumvent existing legislation (which it fell foul of) so it can withold entitlement to redundancy payments for the staff it's about to sack.

While Government may, indeed, have the legal right to change laws to suit itself, it has no moral or ethical right to do so. In its role as an employer it must recognise the law as being a higher precedent. The statutes already in place are there as a protection to employees as well as to employers.

So to meddle with laws to the detriment of its own employees while preparing for the largest unemployment boost in peacetime history is not only unethical but is also morally bankrupt and the act of a suicidal entity, intent on hastening its own demise through civil unrest etc. This cannot be allowed to happen.

Why is this idea important?

In the present economic climate this Government wants to "streamline" the Civil Service. Understandable. However, having made this announcement, it now also wants to change employment law to allow it to circumvent existing legislation (which it fell foul of) so it can withold entitlement to redundancy payments for the staff it's about to sack.

While Government may, indeed, have the legal right to change laws to suit itself, it has no moral or ethical right to do so. In its role as an employer it must recognise the law as being a higher precedent. The statutes already in place are there as a protection to employees as well as to employers.

So to meddle with laws to the detriment of its own employees while preparing for the largest unemployment boost in peacetime history is not only unethical but is also morally bankrupt and the act of a suicidal entity, intent on hastening its own demise through civil unrest etc. This cannot be allowed to happen.

Housing, Benefits & Jobs

Having had the misfortune of being made redundant through ill health last November and also being made homeless for part of this year, I have had to hunt high and low for somewhere to live and it has been far from being easy!

The biggest problem with being unemployed, is the simple fact that a great many landlords do not accept DSS tenants. Look at most adverts for property that is available to rent and you will see the words NO DSS attached to the end of the advert. 

Having researched the problem myself, I have discovered that there is a serious level of discrimination towards those who are unfortunate enough to have lost their jobs through no fault of their own.

Your government may be looking to cut benefits in order to reduce the national debt, but for someone like myself who is desperate to get back in to work and also done their damned hardest to get off the street, benefits are vital until new employment can be found. By councils delaying benefits or constantly messing people around, they are adding even more stress to what is already a difficult time.

Yes, the benefits system needs a re-think and yes, there are people who abuse it, but there are a hell of a lot of people who need it, that are struggling to survive! 

I am on Job Seekers Allowance of £65 per week. £7.65 per week  is deducted from that because I had no choice except to apply for a Social Fund Loan in order to be able to get the house I am now living in. This leaves me with just over £57 a week to survive on. Once I pay for electric, gas and food, I am left with virtually nothing. I do not own a television and even if I did, I would not be able to afford a licence! I have no car, and yet again if I did, I could not afford to run it! 

What I am asking is that the government start to look at the reasons why the people on DSS are struggling to find employment…. is it because of a lack of jobs? A lack of skills? There could be any number of reasons. 

In my particular case, I was made redundant through ill health last year, since making a recovery, I have applied for over 180 jobs since March this year. Out of the 180 jobs I have applied for, I have had exactly 8 letters telling me I was not suitable for the position or was not qualified enough and I have been asked to one (1) interview! The rest I have not heard anything from! So as a part of looking at the reasons why people are struggling to find employment, look at the jobs which are being advertised! 

I have been registered with Jobs Today, Monster and several other websites. Since registering, I have checked them daily and all I see is a repeat of the same adverts by the same companies with very little difference elsewhere. Many of these companies when you read their adverts often talk about career prospects within the company and how you can advance through the ranks. If this is the case, how come so many of the companies advertising these claims of fabulous career prospects are advertising elsewhere…why are they not promoting their current staff to the managerial jobs which dominate the Jobs website pages and replacing the staff who are promoted?

Why is this idea important?

Having had the misfortune of being made redundant through ill health last November and also being made homeless for part of this year, I have had to hunt high and low for somewhere to live and it has been far from being easy!

The biggest problem with being unemployed, is the simple fact that a great many landlords do not accept DSS tenants. Look at most adverts for property that is available to rent and you will see the words NO DSS attached to the end of the advert. 

Having researched the problem myself, I have discovered that there is a serious level of discrimination towards those who are unfortunate enough to have lost their jobs through no fault of their own.

Your government may be looking to cut benefits in order to reduce the national debt, but for someone like myself who is desperate to get back in to work and also done their damned hardest to get off the street, benefits are vital until new employment can be found. By councils delaying benefits or constantly messing people around, they are adding even more stress to what is already a difficult time.

Yes, the benefits system needs a re-think and yes, there are people who abuse it, but there are a hell of a lot of people who need it, that are struggling to survive! 

I am on Job Seekers Allowance of £65 per week. £7.65 per week  is deducted from that because I had no choice except to apply for a Social Fund Loan in order to be able to get the house I am now living in. This leaves me with just over £57 a week to survive on. Once I pay for electric, gas and food, I am left with virtually nothing. I do not own a television and even if I did, I would not be able to afford a licence! I have no car, and yet again if I did, I could not afford to run it! 

What I am asking is that the government start to look at the reasons why the people on DSS are struggling to find employment…. is it because of a lack of jobs? A lack of skills? There could be any number of reasons. 

In my particular case, I was made redundant through ill health last year, since making a recovery, I have applied for over 180 jobs since March this year. Out of the 180 jobs I have applied for, I have had exactly 8 letters telling me I was not suitable for the position or was not qualified enough and I have been asked to one (1) interview! The rest I have not heard anything from! So as a part of looking at the reasons why people are struggling to find employment, look at the jobs which are being advertised! 

I have been registered with Jobs Today, Monster and several other websites. Since registering, I have checked them daily and all I see is a repeat of the same adverts by the same companies with very little difference elsewhere. Many of these companies when you read their adverts often talk about career prospects within the company and how you can advance through the ranks. If this is the case, how come so many of the companies advertising these claims of fabulous career prospects are advertising elsewhere…why are they not promoting their current staff to the managerial jobs which dominate the Jobs website pages and replacing the staff who are promoted?

Public sector early retirement packages and ongoing work.

anybody who receives an early retirement package – redundancy plus pension from 50 – ie NHS managers, sho0uld not then be allowed to work as a consultant on £hundreds daily unless they forfeit  their pension until they fully stop working, otherwisde the tax payer is paying such people three times 1) the lump sum severance 2) the pension they receive from 50 and 3) the ongoing consultancy pay they get from the ongoing work. There are ex NHS employees getting this sort of deal.

Why is this idea important?

anybody who receives an early retirement package – redundancy plus pension from 50 – ie NHS managers, sho0uld not then be allowed to work as a consultant on £hundreds daily unless they forfeit  their pension until they fully stop working, otherwisde the tax payer is paying such people three times 1) the lump sum severance 2) the pension they receive from 50 and 3) the ongoing consultancy pay they get from the ongoing work. There are ex NHS employees getting this sort of deal.

Make corporate redundancies illegal

Too many British companies are making staff redundant and re-employing others in their roles overseas.

Make it illegal for companies to make redundancies and move those roles abroad, ie Indian call centres.

Too many companies make workers redundant just so the fat cat board members can have a payrise. In future, companies have to get permission from the government to make mass redundancies.

Why is this idea important?

Too many British companies are making staff redundant and re-employing others in their roles overseas.

Make it illegal for companies to make redundancies and move those roles abroad, ie Indian call centres.

Too many companies make workers redundant just so the fat cat board members can have a payrise. In future, companies have to get permission from the government to make mass redundancies.