Is my firm’s unrealistic target setting a legitimate way of getting rid of long-term employees? – The Sun

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Judge Rinder

Q) THE owners of the business where I work are looking to reduce staff.

Three months ago, within my department, a target was imposed on each member of the team. Over that period, no one in the department achieved this target.

Subsequently, a formal written warning was issued to each person in the department. The target remains the same and everyone is being measured against that target for the next month, with the threat of further action to any individual who does not reach this.

Is this a legitimate way of getting rid of people with more than 15 years’ service at the company, sidestepping the need to make redundancy

payments?
Carl, Stoke

A) Your employer is behaving appallingly. It appears to have set totally unreasonable targets for you and your colleagues to meet, which is unlawful.

If this company decides to sack you for failing to reach these targets, you would have a very strong case for constructive dismissal, which would cost it a lot of money.

That’s the good news. The bad news for you is that your employer is allowed to bring in new targets as long as it gives you the ­training and tools you need to reach them.

If it decides to start sacking people who fall short, the firm must follow strict ­disciplinary procedures or it would be acting unlawfully.

You seem to suspect that your employer is setting unrealistic targets as a way of avoiding having to pay out large sums in redundancy.

Let me be as clear as I can. This company cannot do this. Keep a record of absolutely everything your employer does and says in the next few months, as this may be invaluable if you need to bring a claim against it.

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