Leaving your job
MiP provides individual support to members who face losing their jobs. This may include expert advice, negotiating with your employer, accompanying you to meetings and hearings, and help with finding another job. Depending on the circumstances of your case, we may also take legal action on your behalf.
If you think you may be about to lose your job, it's important to act quickly and contact your MiP national officer as soon as possible.
If you're being made redundant
If you have been identified as "at risk" of redundancy, or work in area likely to be affected by redundancies as a result of organisation change, visit our Organisational Change page for advice.
Once you have received notice of redundancy, the first thing to do is to decide whether you want to go. If you're happy to accept redundancy on the terms offered, and you work for an NHS organisation, it's still important to demonstrate that you are seeking suitable alternative employment within the NHS. If you are offered a suitable alternative job, you may lose your redundancy rights if you don't accept it.
What constitutes suitable alternative employment is a complex area and we're preparing further detailed advice on this for MiP members. If you have any doubts about whether a post you've been offered is suitable, contact your MiP national officer for advice.
If you don't want to take redundancy, make sure you are listed on your employer's "at risk" register, and submit a copy of your CV. If you work for an NHS organisation, you are entitled to be interviewed for any suitable vacancy with your current employer provided you meet the basic criteria for the job. If a local or regional agreement is in place, you may also be entitled to an interview for suitable vacancies at nearby NHS organisations.
You should also:
- Network as widely as possible – with colleagues from NHS organisations, local government and the not-for-profit sector
- Look out for short-term and interim posts – they often provide a bridge to a permanent job
- Consider opportunities in arm's-length bodies such as NHS England and NHS Improvement – they often have short-term projects which require the skills of experienced managers
- Check with HR regularly to see if any suitable jobs are available – don't assume they'll contact you
- Don't surrender to it – organisational change and the high level of churn among NHS managers means new opportunities are cropping up all the time
- If you are offered a post outside the NHS while on notice of redundancy, you can request early release from your notice period.
If you've been offered a settlement agreement
Settlement agreements (sometimes called "compromise" or "exit" agreements) are neither a dismissal nor a resignation: they are a written, confidential agreement to terminate your employment and surrender most of your employment rights in return for a sum of money.
You may be offered a settlement agreement during a disciplinary or grievance procedure, or as a result of some other dispute with your employer. This usually happens during a protected conversation – a discussion in which your employer may discuss ending your employment without prejudicing their position in any future legal proceedings.
Never accept a settlement agreement on the spot; always seek advice from MiP first. You are expected to take legal advice on a settlement agreement and MiP will usually arrange this for you. Employers will often pay some of the legal costs.
If you are offered a settlement agreement:
- Say nothing one way or the other – just take notes and tell your employer that you need to take advice from your union
- Contact your MiP national officer immediately – time is of the essence here
- Do not discuss the meeting or the proposed agreement with your colleagues
- If you feel to upset to go back to work, ask your employer for a couple of days off – this is usually acceptable
- With your MiP national officer, consider references and what you can say about your departure to future employers, as well as the financial settlement
- Be patient – settlement agreements are often proposed very suddenly, but it can take weeks to get the agreement right and secure all the necessary approvals
If you've been dismissed
- If you've been dismissed, you should contact your MiP national officer immediately, assuming you haven't done so already as part of a disciplinary or redundancy process.
- Everybody who is dismissed while working for the NHS is entitled to an appeal, using the organisation's internal appeal procedure. In most cases, you need to go through this appeals procedure before taking your case to an Employment Tribunal. Your MiP rep or national officer will support you throughout the appeals process, taking legal advice where necessary.
- If your dismissal notice doesn't say, it is important to clarify straightaway whether any notice period applies. Even if you've been dismissed without notice, you can still appeal against your dismissal.
You should also:
- Avoid discussing your situation with colleagues and friends – this could prejudice your appeal
- Notify your employer that you do not accept your dismissal and intend to appeal – make it clear that you will be getting advice from your union
- Don't lose your temper, make threats or smash up your laptop – this could damage your chances on appeal
- Get your paperwork together as soon as possible – copies of emails, letters and any diary or record of the events leading up to your dismissal, together with copies of any policies that apply to your case
- Discuss your preferred outcome with your MiP rep or national officer – are you looking for reinstatement or a financial settlement? Would you consider a compromise, such as being moved to another job?
- Don't despair or let the situation consume you – there are always options, and it helps to keep focused on your appeal or seeking alternative job opportunities
Articles and features about dismissal and redundancy