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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 48474
Experience:  Qualified Employment Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
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Hi, I am currently facing a dilema at work (I am a teacher

Customer Question

Hi,

I am currently facing a dilema at work (I am a teacher in the independent sector)

A parent has instructed legal advice because of a child receiving a grade lower than expected in their A-Levels. At present, there exists only a solicitors letter there is not anything firmer such as a civil claim. The school advises me they think the parent will win.

They have raised the possibility of a gross misconduct case against me, or alternatively entering into capability proceedings. They suggest that they could deal with me within 4 weeks (although the process according to their own policy runs up to 20 weeks of actual term time) because the education of children in my care is in jeopardy.

At this meeting they proposed that I ask questions about other options. I raised the issue of resignation and this was spoken about in terms of immediate resignation with a payment of some of my notice period.

I am minded now that I wish to leave the employment as there has been a serious breakdown in our relationship. I do not feel that I have commited a gross misconduct, nor that the procedures of capability have thus far been followed (I have had very little support since my employment has begun.)

I am wondering what my offer in terms of a compromise agreement should be. I wish to work until August 31st for my employment history purposes (CV) although it could be that I am offered gardening leave for this period. I am also aware I should be entitled to an ex-gratia payment .

Can you advise me on a minimum settlement figure I should look for?
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Employment Law
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 4 years ago.
Hello, my name is XXXXX XXXXX it is my pleasure to be able to assist with your question today. Please let me know if you are likely to find new employment soon?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

For Ben Jones only

The market for teachers in my position is limited. There is potential however if I were to be unemployed effective now it'd be unlikely until January 1st at the earliest

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 4 years ago.
There is no set amount one should seek in a compromise agreement and this varies immensely based on the individual's circumstances. There are many factors that will affect the amount one should seek and it will also depend on the employer - you may be after a specific amount but that may never be agreed by the employer so it is a bit of a 'poker game'.

As a starting point you are probably looking at your notice period and any holidays you are due, together with any pay up to date. After that you are looking for any extra on top that would reflect compensation for the future, essentially an ex-gratia payment. That could depend on how the job market is at the time, how long it may realistically take you to find a new job, etc.

Your position will also be influenced with how strong a claim you have against the employer - the more you are confident you have a good case against them the more they will want to compromise and could increase their offer. On the other hand, a weak claim will not phase them and they can confidently refuse to increase it, knowing that you are unlikely to get anything more if you were to sue them.

Please take a second to leave a positive rating as that is a very important part of our process. Your question will not close and I can continue providing further advice if necessary. Thank you
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Customer: replied 4 years ago.

I have my suspicions that my job will effectively be covered in house with no further appointments made ... I was told this in not so many words.


 


This would effectively confirm that my dismissal was for financial reasons.


 


I have also had time of recently (only 3 days)and suspect it may be a stress related illness, which I informed my employer about.


He aluded to the fact that my resignation would allowed me to recover from stress.. Again I question his words here.

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 4 years ago.
these are all factors that you can use to your advantage but if you were to challenge this in a tribunal then it would be for the employer to prove that your dismissal was for a potentially fair reason
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Thank you

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 4 years ago.
You are welcome
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

For Ben Jones only


 


If I am put onto capability procedures and was dismissed as a result, would I be paid the full amount of my notice period (1 full academic term) assuming the dismissal was not for gross misconduct.


 


Thanks

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 4 years ago.
Yes you should be unless you are now on reduced sick pay, in which case you may only continue to be paid that, not the full amount you are entitled to
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Thank you.


 


Absences due to sick have only been sporadic and within the self certification period so there is no problem with that.


 


Thanks again for your useful advice.

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 4 years ago.
You're welcome
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

For Ben Jones only


 


Hi Ben, thanks again for your earlier advice. I have had further negotiations with my employer. I am not currently in the process of any disciplinary process and have discussed a compromise agreement, and waiting to hear from them as to how much they can offer ex-gratia.


 


The situation is thus. I am entitled to one full academic terms PILON if I were later put on capability procedures and dismissed summarily at the end of the procedure. The earliest then, that I could be dismissed (and again I stress, I am not in a disciplinary situation at present) would be 31st December (and possibly as late as 31st April 2014) as the capability proceedings have to run for between 4-20 weeks of term time only.


 


I have made my employer aware that I am prepared to leave at 31st August if a sufficient compromise agreement can be agreed. Given that technically I could drag my heels and ensure my ongoing employment continues well beyond 31st August I feel that I am in a strong bargaining position for a ex-gratia payment. What would be a fair amount, if you are allowed to comment?

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 4 years ago.
You should seek the full PILON and any accrued holidays, as well as pay up until you are asked to leave. On top of that it is down to negotiation - some may ask for a couple of months extras pay, others for more, depending on strong a case they have.