An employee has approached me in confidence and asked to speak to me “off the record”. They showed me a copy of an email sent to him by their manager. I was very shocked at the content.

It basically said that unless the employee could justify his role and prove that it added value to the business, saved money & added to profit, then they would be looking into if the role was needed anymore. The tone was abrupt and rude but ultimatly threatening. It finished up by saying that the employee had to respond today (Wednesday) with facts and figures proving that his job was still needed – if he couldn’t provide this info then tasks would be set. And that’s how it finshed; with an ominous ending.

The employee asked me if he would have a case for constructive dismissal – i explained that that question put me in an awkard position and wasn’t my place to say. I suggested that he speak to his Manager’s boss and explained how upset/angry he was at the content and tone and see if he could get some answers etc before jumping the gun.

I am very concerend about the content of the email – if the management team are considering making a redundancy (which by the sounds of it they are) i certainly haven’t been informed.

My question is – what do i do next? How do i have support the employee and protect the business without betraying his trust? Plus i feel exasperated that this manager felt it was “ok” to send such an email?

Lucy Hibbert

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