My specialised role as a case handler means that I deal with complex cases – multiple redundancies, transfers of undertakings and difficult gross misconduct dismissals. This gives me the chance to build a good rapport because of my regular contact with clients while I guide them through a difficult patch, which I really enjoy.
My working day starts at 9am but I usually arrive in the office at 8:40am which gives me a chance to catch up with colleagues and check my ‘task list’ so I can plan my day. My list contained 3 tasks when I left last night, and this morning I arrive to 21. I decide today was not a good day to give up caffeine. I make a brew, log in and start on my first task.
Whilst my task list can seem quite daunting, because of the regular contact we have with clients, it is easy for me to remember which stage each of my cases are up to. The majority of the emails I received today are letters, that my clients wish to send to their employees, that require my checking prior to posting. I also receive a couple of emails in which I am asked questions relating to the calculation of redundancy payments, or the intricacies of a disciplinary procedure, which I can respond quickly to.
I have a client who wants to dismiss an employee for a gross misconduct offence but, because the law around gross misconduct is so precise, we have pointed out to the client that a Tribunal are likely to be unconvinced that the offence constitutes gross misconduct. I advise the client of this and we agree a way forward, based on the fact that there have been other inconsistencies in the way they have acted which may be to their detriment should the case go to Tribunal. I reiterate to them the importance of calling us for advice at every stage of the process. The client decides to dismiss the employee in any case, and I make them aware of the possible consequences.
To ensure that we, on the case handler team, keep involved in the more day to day queries, one-off calls for advice that come through, I spend an hour following lunch taking calls on what we call the Advice Service ‘front line’. I answer questions on eligibility for maternity leave; what to do when an employee has handed in their resignation; and a question about a doctor’s report for an injured employee.
A client visits the offices in the afternoon to discuss a difficult redundancy case. The client has already sent me the rationale – the reason for the need to make redundancies – so I review this before meeting him so that I am prepared to hit the floor running. The meeting is productive and I follow up with an email of the advice given and also send some guidance documents to assist the client.
I finish the day by drafting a set of letters for a transfer of undertakings case where we are advising the transferee – the employer taking over a business. In this particular case, our client needs to make redundancies once the transfer has been affected so each employee will receive a letter putting them ‘at risk’.
I end the day on a high when my team leader informs me that a particular call of mine that she listened to received a perfect score on our quality gradings.