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Thread: Unfair Retrenchment???

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    Unfair Retrenchment???

    Hi.

    I would like to know whether retrencment based on "present economic climate, our present financial position and our present operational requirements" could be regarded as unfair under the following circumstamces.

    Only employee selected for possible retrenched has previously been threatened with disciplinary action (although action was nevet actually instituted) and has fairly recently received a (first and) final written warning.

    Any comments / advice will be greatly appreciated.

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    Site Caretaker Dave A's Avatar
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    How large is the company?
    Has "last in - first out" been applied?
    The trouble with opportunity is it normally comes dressed up as work.

    Alcocks Electrical Services | Alcocks Pest Control & Entomological Services

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    Diamond Member Justloadit's Avatar
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    Is the company experiencing financial difficulties?
    Victor - Knowledge is a blessing or a curse, your current circumstances make you decide!
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dave A View Post
    How large is the company?
    13 employees
    Has "last in - first out" been applied?
    Does "last in, first out" apply to the last employee appointed, no matter what her position? Or does it have to be a similar position as mine (as they claim that "... your position has become redundant as a result of the fact that the firm can possibly do away with this position and be more cost effective" and "It is anticipated that your responsibilities could be absorbed by the rest of the firm's administrative staff, as well as its professional staff.")
    An administrative lady was appointed after me, but she was also made our Office Manager (despite the fact that I took over most of the responsibilities of our previous Office Manager who went on maternity leave and never returned).
    They have been trying to get me out of there for some time now by treating me different than the other employees and they have been making things unbearable for me. I would go so far as to say that they are discriminating against me.
    They have been claiming since late last year that the firm is not doing as well as it used to. Although I don't have access to the firm's bank statements, I believe it is not true and that creating the impression that the firm is not doing so well was all part of their plan to get rid of me.
    Certain employees still received 13th cheques in December (I was obviously not one of them). And just this past Friday the firm bought lunch for all of them. And in November / December 2016 they also offered an existing employee's spouse a position at our other branch.

    Thanks for your help! I appreciate it!

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    Site Caretaker Dave A's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 78wendy78 View Post
    Does "last in, first out" apply to the last employee appointed, no matter what her position? Or does it have to be a similar position as ...
    Ordinarily the decision is how many people to trim in each category or occupation, and then you'd apply last in first out in each of those categories.

    Quote Originally Posted by 78wendy78 View Post
    An administrative lady was appointed after me, but she was also made our Office Manager (despite the fact that I took over most of the responsibilities of our previous Office Manager who went on maternity leave and never returned).
    That is actually a different issue unless it only just happened.
    If you were carrying the responsibilities for a while, were you offered an opportunity to apply for the post?
    Is the appointee actually more qualified to be office manager than you are (either by qualification or previous experience)?

    For the rest - ok for all of it really, the devil is in the detail.
    You may have a case to argue, or perhaps not.

    It really does take an intimate knowledge of all the facts.
    The trouble with opportunity is it normally comes dressed up as work.

    Alcocks Electrical Services | Alcocks Pest Control & Entomological Services

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    Thanks for your reply, Dave. No, I was not offered an opportunity to apply for the position. Neither was the other lady. She was simply appointed.

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    And just FYI - I have been told by the main Director of the firm, on various occasions, that my work is excellent and they have no problem with my work.

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    reviously been threatened with disciplinary action
    Why was this ?

    I have been told by the main Director of the firm, on various occasions, that my work is excellent and they have no problem with my work.
    Im trying to figure out how one moment you were "threatened" with disciplinary action and the next moment your work is "excellent" - Can you elaborate what happened ?

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    There were more than one incident. It is as if they always find something to reprimand me on. The threat came about when we received a Summons on behalf of a client. I took the initiative to draft a Notice of Intention to Defend. It was also my job to print the Director's e-mails on a daily basis, which I did and gave to him every day. I was appointed as a Senior Typist and it was his duty to check which e-mails required immediate attention (that was the whole purpose of me having to print it for him). I handed the Summons with the Notice of Intention to Defend to him, together with his e-mails. When he had a look at all the documents days later and came across the Notice of Intention to Defend, he lost it and raised his voice at me (other employees could hear him all the way in their office from behind a closed boardroom door). He asked me whether I thought I had done enough, to which I replied I did and explained to him what I had done. He then called me ridiculous, said that he was going to tell the main Director that he can no longer work with me. I then sent an e-mail to the main Director, who was out of the office at the time, and explained my side of what had happened and what was said to me. I also said that I have previously been reprimanded for not printing his e-mails, but when I do print them, he doesn't look at them. The problem is apparently my attitude (the fact that I won't keep quiet when I am being reprimanded for something which is not my fault). They said that there is nothing wrong with my work and that my work is good, speedy and correct. I was, however, labelled by them as an insolent employee. I am actually not an exrovert at all, but I am sorry, I refuse to keep quiet when I did nothing wrong. From there on things just went downhill. Every so often there would be something. Other things included me being reprimanded for qouting our reference / account / matter number on accounts I typed for an Advocate, which accounts were payable by us. The reference numbers simply made it easier for us to capture the payments on the correct matters on the system. I was told that I should discuss things like that with them first. Then another director raised her voice at me one day when she came to me and told me that disbursements should be authorised before I load them onto the systems. I told her that nobody ever told me that. The Office Manager also told me afterwards he wasn't aware of this. Simply because it never was the case and I had always just loaded disbursements onto the system without any permission as it was part of my duties. When I said to the Director that I was never told to get authorisation first, she raised her voice at me and said "Well, I'm telling you now." Since this incident she doesn't greet me at all, she will walk straight past my office and greet everyone else.
    Another time the Director was in my office and asked me to print an account for him. I immediately knew what he was going to ask me so I walked to my desk while he was still talking to print the account. I was then accused of "walking away while he was still talking to me" and received a Final Written Warning.
    I am not a troublemaker or rebal and have never had so much drama at any of my previous jobs (even one where I worked for 8 years).
    All of the above (and other drama) took place over a period of only 3 and a half years).

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    The way I see it, there are two tracks that this conversation can go down.

    There's Labour Legislation - and I guess more often than not that's where the conversation around here tends to go.

    But frankly, reading your posts perhaps the conversation needs to turn to the art of navigating office politics. The harsh reality is that if you get good at that, you rarely need to resort to Labour Legislation to rescue you. Sometimes it's not what you do, it's how you do it that makes all the difference.
    The trouble with opportunity is it normally comes dressed up as work.

    Alcocks Electrical Services | Alcocks Pest Control & Entomological Services

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