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Redundancy deal

Your job and career questions answered

Q: Recently, I was told by my head and personnel officer that my application for redundancy was successful. No conditions were attached. A few weeks later, the local authority rescinded because a colleague had resigned. I needed the redundancy payment to fund an MA and I need at least a year away from teaching for the course. What could, and perhaps should, the authority do for me, if anything?

A: First, you need to consider what constitutes a redundancy situation. An employer finds that it needs fewer staff to do the work. Perhaps because there are fewer pupils to teach; this is a factor that will become common over the next few years in many schools. Local authorities and unions will have negotiated an agreement on how to handle this situation and it often includes a clause that the employer will do everything possible to find alternative posts for those offered redundancy. If this is the case, then the employer is within their right to rescind the dismissal notice and offer you other comparable work. If you don't accept you may forfeit your right to redundancy. I know you have special circumstances relating to your future professional development, but in most cases employees would be delighted not to be made redundant.

What would you have done if the offer had not even been on the table? I suggest you talk the situation through with your union representative, but in this case you may find that you can do nothing about the withdrawal of the redundancy notice.

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