Remaining politically neutral during General Election 2024


Under guidance from the Electoral Commission and Charity Commission, it's important that Scope remains politically neutral during General Elections.

While we understand that this period will see many passionate discussions and do not want to discourage open discussion, we cannot allow discussions which are purely intended to influence voting.

As ever, please make sure that your comments remain respectful of other people's opinions and keep to our online community house rules.

Made redundant

Options
emre43
emre43 Community member Posts: 15 Connected
I have suffered from social anxiety disorder for as long as I can remember. My earliest memory is being dropped off at nursery and crying my eyes out at being left with a group of people I didn’t know. This feeling has never left me in social situations.

Because of my social anxiety, I find passing interviews extremely difficult, I sweat, I palpitate, I have to catch my breath (basically panic attacks). 

Because of my anxiousness during interviews, I have been dependant on agency work, because interviews are not always necessary. In November 2021, I passed my first ever interview.

I ended up doing a job I loved, which incorporated one of my passions, photography. The office was small and intimate, just myself and my manager, which was perfect for my anxiety. I don’t like large groups and I’m out of my comfort zone in them. In March, a new colleague joined the office. She was a young lady, who I got on really well with. About two months later, my new colleague disclosed to me that she is pregnant and is going to have an abortion. I was the first person she told at work and she told me afterwards that she really needed a positive response from me, or she would not have felt comfortable coming in again. She told only myself and my manager about this. I have supported her ever since. She has cried in my arms on two occasions. We’ve hugged several times. We’ve laughed, we’ve cried. I even bought her a set of anxiety necklaces.

On 27th June, the Managing Director came into the office at the end of the day and told me I was being let go due to an unforeseen downturn in profits. Whenever I asked either him, or my manager, why they singled me out over my colleague (especially as I had been at the company for a longer period of time), they blanked me. 

On 1st July, my manager told my colleague (undergoing an abortion), that they saved her job because they didn’t want to put her under anymore stress, due to her abortion. My trade union later told me that if I could get this in writing, or a statement of some kind, I would have a strong case for gender discrimination. But I have not pursued this, because I don’t want to do anything that would endanger my colleague’s job.

My colleague has repeatedly thanked me and told me how grateful she is for ‘everything you’ve done for me’. 

I am beyond devastated at what I’ve lost. The job couldn’t have been more perfect for me. Not just because I enjoyed the job, but the tight setting and the relationship I had with my colleague, was the best remedy I’ve ever had for my social anxiety. 

Comments

  • Alex_Alumni
    Alex_Alumni Scope alumni Posts: 7,562 Disability Gamechanger
    Options
    Hello @emre43 and thank you for sharing what's happened, it must have been hard to write, so well done for putting it out there.

    It must've been difficult for everyone involved, and if you feel the reason you were made redundant isn't 100% clear, then it may be worth investigating with professional support, if that's something you'd want to do.

    ACAS is a good organisation to contact for information and advice around work and employment, and might be helpful for you.

    I'm sure a lot of our members can relate to the feeling of loss you're experiencing. Do you think you'll still be able to maintain a friendship with your colleague? It's clear you have a very good relationship and do a lot to support each other.

    It must've been a great feeling to pass your first interview in back in 2021, what do you think made it better than previous experiences? 

    And what first got you into photography, if you don't mind me asking? It's good to have a passion like that :)

    If you feel you need more support for your anxiety or that we've missed anything, please do say, and we'll do what we can to support you.

    Alex
    Online Community Coordinator
    Scope

    Concerned about another member's safety or wellbeing? Flag your concerns with us.

    Want to give us feedback? Complete our feedback form now.
  • emre43
    emre43 Community member Posts: 15 Connected
    Options
    Thank you for your response Alex.

    I have spoken to ACAS and when I asked what impact this might have on my colleague, they said they cannot look into the future and tell me, so it has put me off doing anything.

    Myself and my colleague had agreed to stay in touch and we have contacted each other since I have left. I feel she’s changed towards me since though; there’s been a few things. I really hope our relationship stays strong though, as we’ve been through some things together, even in such a short space of time.

    The interview was conducted via Zoom and there was only interviewer. The more people there are conducting an interview, the more anxious I am. 

    I had a friend I met online, who took some amazing photographs and she inspired me to get into photography, but she committed suicide shortly after I bought my first camera, so I didn’t get to share the results :(

    I definitely need support for my anxiety. I’ve signed up for counselling, as a result of the redundancy and the loss I feel, but I’m on a six-month waiting list.
  • woodbine
    woodbine Community member Posts: 11,922 Disability Gamechanger
    Options
    From what I read if you have worked for someone less than two years they can dismiss you/make you redundant without reason, see below.

    https://www.johnfowlers.co.uk/latest-news/what-employment-rights-does-an-employee-have-under-2-years
    2024 The year of the general election...the time for change is coming 💡

  • emre43
    emre43 Community member Posts: 15 Connected
    Options
    They can, but there are exceptions, such as the Equality Act (2010), which makes discrimination illegal when dismissing someone.
  • emre43
    emre43 Community member Posts: 15 Connected
    Options
    Sorry, should have attached this to my previous message: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/equality-act-2010-guidance
  • Cartini
    Cartini Community member Posts: 1,108 Pioneering
    Options
    emre43 said:
    They can, but there are exceptions, such as the Equality Act (2010), which makes discrimination illegal when dismissing someone.

    There`s a difference between dismissal and redundancy.  I doubt the equality act will cover a role that is no longer required which results in someone being made redundant.
  • janer1967
    janer1967 Community member Posts: 21,964 Disability Gamechanger
    Options
    Hi and welcome to the community 

    Redundancy is one of the 5 lawful reasons for ending employment fairly 

    Unless yog thunk you have been selected for Redundancy due to your disability 

    When selecting people for Redundancy the company must decide their selection criteria which can be specific role no linger required , or if more than this the following can be selection criteria 

    Performance,  absence   length of service etc 

    If you have any specific questions just ask and will try help 
  • emre43
    emre43 Community member Posts: 15 Connected
    edited July 2022
    Options
    Redundancy is a valid reason yes. However, choosing to let me go, over my colleague, due to her going through an abortion would be ‘gender discrimination’. I have been advised by an employment lawyer, my union, ACAS, and the Equality Advisory Support Service, that if I was to get a statement or written evidence, I would have a strong case for gender discrimination. But I don’t want do anything that would hurt my colleague. 

    Workplace discrimination is illegal.
  • Cartini
    Cartini Community member Posts: 1,108 Pioneering
    Options
    emre43 said:
    Wish I could edit above post.
    You have one hour from posting to edit your comments.  The little cog in the top right corner will (or should) let you edit your comment.

  • janer1967
    janer1967 Community member Posts: 21,964 Disability Gamechanger
    Options
    Sorry I didn't pick up that was the reason you were selected over your colleague so yes it would be discrimination 

    However as advised this would need to be proved to have a case and as I see so far it is just hearsay from what your colleague told you and you only have her side of the story ( would she be prepared to write a statement ) I doubt it 

    Unfortunately I don't think there is much you can do 
  • emre43
    emre43 Community member Posts: 15 Connected
    edited July 2022
    Options
    Well, it’s not hearsay, as such, it’s what she was told by our manager; it’s from the horses mouth. 

    But I don’t want to do anything, even if I could, because I don’t want it to come back on my colleague.

    It’s just a horrible situation, which I wish had never happened. 
  • janer1967
    janer1967 Community member Posts: 21,964 Disability Gamechanger
    Options
    It is horrible I agree but it is still classed as hearsay as you didn't hear it said yourself 

    As hard as if is you have to try and move on from this and get some support if you are looking for work 

    Scope have a support to work programme you might find helpful found in the employment section 

    Good luck hope you find something 
  • Cartini
    Cartini Community member Posts: 1,108 Pioneering
    Options
    janer1967 said:
    It is horrible I agree but it is still classed as hearsay as you didn't hear it said yourself 


    Agreed.

  • emre43
    emre43 Community member Posts: 15 Connected
    edited July 2022
    Options
    No doubt a court would class it as hearsay, but it’s beside the point, because I’m not taking it to court. I could submit a Subject Access Request for documents relating to my dismissal. But I don’t want to, because I don’t want it to come back on my colleague.

    I can’t just move on. I need to ensure that a new Labour government, outlaws unfair dismissals, as they have said they will do; once that has happened I will move on. 

    This has happened to me twice now and it’s not fair that I have to keep going through it and it isn’t fair that anybody else should have to go through it either. It’s illegal in countries such as France and Germany to dismiss somebody without a reason and it will be here too soon.
  • janer1967
    janer1967 Community member Posts: 21,964 Disability Gamechanger
    Options
    They didn't dismiss for no reason the reason was redundancy 

    I know it's easy for me yo say I'm not the affected person  but I have been made redundant after 30 years service so I know how it feels believe me.

    I admire you not wanting it to affect your colleague 

    I know nothing I say can make a difference just advising based on 30 years hr management experience 
  • emre43
    emre43 Community member Posts: 15 Connected
    edited July 2022
    Options
    And in other countries, such as France and Germany, making people redundant is illegal; the company has to prove the person has done something wrong to be dismissed. Labour have said they will make that the case over here too - as it should already be.

    Not only did I do nothing wrong, but I was also singled out illegally. I was made redundant, because my colleague was having an abortion.
  • janer1967
    janer1967 Community member Posts: 21,964 Disability Gamechanger
    Options
    I won't make any further comments you have your views which I appreciate 

    But one last thing you didn't get made redundant because your colleague had an abortion . You were selected for redundancy as the company had to make somebody redundant its unfortunate you were the one selected  
  • emre43
    emre43 Community member Posts: 15 Connected
    edited July 2022
    Options
    It was a choice between myself and my colleague, our team of two; that’s what it came down to. My manager told my colleague it was a difficult choice, but they selected me because they didn’t want to put her through more stress because of her abortion. So, according to my manager, I was made redundant because of my colleague’s abortion. 
  • janer1967
    janer1967 Community member Posts: 21,964 Disability Gamechanger
    Options
    Have to agree to disagree I think here 

    You were made redundant because there was a business need to make cuts and reduce workforce which is not unfair reason 

    What is unfair is the reason why you was the one selected to go if the only reason was the one you quote 


  • emre43
    emre43 Community member Posts: 15 Connected
    Options
    Yes, which is what I am saying. It was a decision for who to make redundant I don’t think we’re agreeing to disagree on anything, we’re just saying the same thing in different ways. 
Complete our feedback form and tell us how we can make the community better.
If we become concerned about you or anyone else while using one of our services, we will act in line with our safeguarding policy and procedures. This may involve sharing this information with relevant authorities to ensure we comply with our policies and legal obligations.

Find out how to let us know if you're concerned about another member's safety.