Employment Lawyers Can Answer Your Employment Law Questions
Hello, my name is XXXXX XXXXX it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today.Before proceeding please note that as I am a practising solicitor, I am often in and out of meetings, travelling between clients or even at court when I pick your question up. This may even occur at weekends. Therefore, I apologise in advance but there may be a delay in getting back to you and providing my advice. Please be patient and I will respond as soon as I can. You do not have to wait here and you will receive an email when I have responded. For now please let me know how long he worked there.
He worked there for 15 months.
Thanks for your patience. Has your son actually breached any company confidentiality rules himself?
No. All he did was tell me about the ongoing problems he was having. The thing is, he put in his grievance, they responded, he then put in an appeal and they then appointed some HR person to deal with it (a third party involvement was not specified in his contract but he hoped this person would be more reasonable than his employers were being). The HR woman rang my son and said she was going to suggest that his former employers pay him the money he felt they owed him and asked him to email the figure to her. He emailed the shortfall in wages and she then came back and said the employer had agreed to pay him and she would put an agreement in the post. When the agreement arrived, it was a 'compromise agreement' with the most ridiculous conditions contained in it. One of the conditions is actually asking for me son to be responsible for anyone at all - either in the past or future - speaking about any matter at all relating to the companies to which both of the directors were associated with. I think they wanted him to sign the agreement, then not pay him, saying that I spoke about them and producing the email that I sent to my friend. He responded that he wouldn't be signing the agreement and the HR woman said, "But you agreed to it verbally." She's even typed across the front page of the agreement, "agreed verbally on 20 May". Its all very under-hand. But the fact is, he has never said anything detrimental about his employers (even to me) and never discussed anything to do with his work with anyone else at all. I've been detrimental about them (to my friend) but he never has. The confidentiality section of his contract appears quite general and doesn't mention whether or not he can discuss his grievance with anyone.
Do you think they may try and dismiss him for this?
He no longer works there. As noted above, after 6 months of being fobbed off with excuses regarding them underpaying him for holidays and not giving a reason why his colleagues (all of whom were introduced by the branch manager) were paid more than him, he felt he was never going to get answers and felt he wasn't being taken seriously. He was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in January and this, coupled with their continued unfair treatment made him give in his notice.
and the only outstanding issue now is the payments he believes he is owed? Or is he making another claim against them?
The only outstanding issue is the payments he believes he is owed. But I know he won't get anything if he signs the compromise agreement. Even if he asks for those ridiculous retrospective confidentiality clauses to be removed, I know they will come up with some other technicality to get out of paying it. Irrespective of the compromise agreement, if I have spoken about the matter to two other people, does this compromise my son?
No it should not compromise his position at all. He can only be held responsible for his own actions, unless he had specifically instructed you to act on his behalf and through your actions you had breached some of the rules he has bound by. But before they can allege this the employer would need to prove that this was actually the case and that you were acting on his instructions. If you did what you did on your own accord then this is not something that the employer can pin on your son and hold him responsible for
That's a relief. That is all I wanted to know. Thanks for your help.
You are welcome