30th Oct 2019

Bringing a clown to a redundancy meeting

When an employee in New Zealand, was offered the right by his employer to bring someone to support him at a redundancy meeting and help cushion the blow, he brought a clown with him.  No joke!

When Josh Thompson, a copywriter, received an email from his bosses asking him to discuss his role in the company, he guessed the writing was on the wall.  

In accordance with New Zealand employment law, Josh was encouraged to bring a support person to the meeting.  However, instead of bringing a work colleague, friend or family member – Josh decided to splash out NZ$200 (£100) on a clown called “Joe”

His employer did see the funny side, but did have to ask Joe to quieten down a number of times because of the screeching of plastic, while making balloon animals.  In Josh’s own words “Boy, oh, boy are they noisy!”  

Action Point

In the UK, employees will usually be offered the right to be accompanied to a grievance, disciplinary or potential dismissal meeting, which can include a redundancy meeting. 

The normal companion they can bring will be a work colleague, or trade union representative.  In certain circumstances, for example. a long-term absence management meeting, it can be good practice to extend this right to perhaps a friend or family member. 

However, agreeing to a request to bring a clown, or other type of entertainer to these types of meeting is your call!  

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