According to a report in today’s Times (behind paywall) about 100 traders turned up at work this morning only to find that their passes had been deactivated. They were met in reception by HR staff who gave them bags containing their personal belongings and were told that they would have two weeks’ paid leave, following which they should return to collect their redundancy payments.
Evidently, UBS have decided entirely to disregard proper redundancy procedure which requires notification to employees that they are at risk of being made redundant as soon as the possibility arises, as well as meaningful consultation which should include consideration of alternatives to redundancy.
In proceeding as they have UBS have presumably taken the view that it is more important to prevent the employees from continuing working than to follow the procedure prescribed by relevant employment legislation. In doing so, they must be assumed to have factored in the cost of compensation resulting from claims for unfair dismissal. The current cap for unfair dismissal compensation is £72,000 although the Government is planning to slash it to possibly £26,000. Although the majority of compensatory awards are well below the cap, its reduction may lead to an increase in the number of blatantly unfair dismissals on the basis that employers take the view that the resulting claims are a price worth paying.