Lisa Murray: I was made redundant in an unfair process
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I had been working for an administrative services company for over 10 years. When Covid hit, I had been working part-time to better care for my children. During the first lockdown, some of the part-time staff, including myself, did not receive computers to continue our work from home like the full-time staff. This resulted in reduced pay as my workload had dramatically reduced.
Being made redundant during Covid
A few months later, my manager called me asking if I was willing to enter into a protected conversation regarding a potential redundancy. As the company serviced contractors, they were facing financial difficulties and were looking into alternative options, including making some workers redundant.
I was offered a £1000 payout. I refused because I did not want to lose my job. Company staff were then put through a performance assessment and I was told that since I performed the least well on my team, I was being made redundant.
I wanted to resolve the issue with my company
I tried going through the proper internal channels to see if I could resolve the issue myself. I went through the grievance process and the grievance appeal process, even sending a data subject access request to find out more information about the redundancy criteria, but nothing worked.
During my grievance appeal, I was told that my company had consulted with a law firm and were told that they could easily win a Tribunal case. My company was so certain of themselves, that they demanded an apology from me for even making the accusations of an unfair process.
The appeal was not successful, and although the call had been recorded, when I asked for the recording, it had mysteriously disappeared due to “technical difficulties”. Even my DSAR request was basically rejected as they wanted me to pay a £250 admin fee.
Something was definitely not right
All these incidents sent off alarm bells in my mind.
I then went to a consultation with an advisor, telling them about the situation. The advisor was shocked, telling me that the situation couldn’t be possible as the company shouldn’t have acted in that matter.
That conversation gave me the confidence I needed to take my employer to a Tribunal. I tried to find a solicitor to take my case, but everyone was too expensive. Ultimately, I had to act as a litigant-in-person, representing myself.
Learning to make the law work for me
I relied a lot on what I could find on Google to build my case and gather the evidence and documents I needed. Services like ACAS, Citizen's Advice and even the Gov.uk site were extremely helpful. I even joined Tribunal groups on Facebook for additional support.
From beginning to end, my case took 16 months. In a unanimous decision, I won against my employer for unfair dismissal.
Want to learn more about Lisa? Read her top learnings from how she took on a top law firm and won.
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