I have worked there for 2 years, 7 months
Many Thanks for your reply, I will ask them today what they plan to do if I do not accept. I do have more questions though !
First of all, they continue to include the words 'Without Prejudice and subject to contract' in all written communication, even changing the subject line of my email when they respond to it. I understand this is so the details cannot be shown if this goes to a tribunal, is this correct ? Should I infact include this in my correspondence ?
The details of my settlement agreement are as follows:
- 3 months salary in lieu of notice (approx £23K before tax)
- A tax free lump sum of £25K
- 9/12 of my annual bonus entitlement, approx £13.5K before tax
- My company car must be returned by 26th October.
- Outstanding holiday will be fully paid.
I guess its not a bad offer, although I would not accept this for the following reasons.
- This works out to around 8 months money maintaining current standard of living, clearly we would make some changes. 8 months sounds like a lot but as I am now only about to start my search for a new role, I am certain I would be very lucky to find something similar in that period, its October now and Dec/Jan can almost certainly be written off.
- I am concerned as to how I would communicate why I left my previous company, a settlement agreement raises all sorts of questions like "Is he a trouble maker ?" Would you think they would be open to calling it redundancy or allowing me to go on gardening leave for 6 months ?
- I will really struggle without my car to attend interviews e.t.c, Do you think they would allow me to keep it longer ?
- I really think as a minimum I should be asking for 12 months salary plus bonus e.t.c. Is this unrealistic in your opinion?
I'll give you an example of one of the things my boss has done which has really started all the problems..
In February this year I was driving a hire car on a Motorway in Italy with my boss and one of my direct reports. My boss proceeded to dismantle the interior of the car, removing as much plastic as he could, he threw a piece at the other passenger and then folded in the exterior mirror so I could not see traffic on the right side of the vehicle, I actually have it on video. I told him I would not be putting the car back together, his answer was "I don't care, the car isn't in my name" he eventually did put everything back in place when we arrived at the rental car return facility. A few days later I sent him an email saying I found his behaviour very disturbing and unsettling. His eventual reply was "Thanks for the candid feedback, I will take time today to reflect on my behaviours, I have some initial thoughts on what was behind but I don't want to shoot from the hip" he then sent a further email saying "Having reflected on my behaviours during last weeks journey to the airport I am confident I have identified the trigger and on that basis I will avoid the same trigger in the future with a change to my routine. I apologise for my actions". I found this response totally unacceptable and raised it to the HR director who questioned if my boss was close to a breakdown. Then in March I had my 2014 YE review with my boss and he gave me a way over the top pay rise of 11.65%, full bonus and equity shares in the company which were not due until 2016, he was shaking as he gave me it and I felt it was money to silence me, I also raised this to HR.
This is just one of many examples, a word here or a remark or email there, which I have documented, I have confided in HR and tried to have them mediate to get myself and my boss around the table to sort the problems out, I have worked with my boss for 17 years (14 in my pervious company), he was the one that recruited me to my current company.
I do feel they simply want me to go quietly and want to avoid a review of all the events, my concern is I will not get a fair hearing, it is him that needs to be disciplined for his behaviours but I don't know who to trust in the company now.
Thanks for the reply, it all makes sense.
I do feel I need a meeting with my boss and HR (and my own independent person, perhaps another employee not in HR) to understand why they feel they do not want to solve the problems and to try and avoid this process. Do you think this would be a sensible first approach from my side ? If they refuse then I can ask them what they intend to do if I don't accept the response.
There is no way this can be an untenable situation if I am the only party that has tried to fix this.
I have felt very isolated the last few days and not really knowing who I can trust in the company but I should be entitled to advise from them shouldn't I ? considering I am still an employee.
I have more questions.. Sorry ! You will get a great rating at the end though !
I was given the settlement offer on Friday last week and I tried calling the HR director I had been asking for support, he did not reply nor did he reply to a text I sent him asking for a call back. So I am certainly not getting support.
I am therefore thinking to ask for a meeting, if they refuse then I can ask what they plan to do if I do not accept the offer and I guess I could resort to sending an email including the VP for HR on circulation listing all the things my boss has said or done ? I don't want to resort to this but I really feel a need to get his actions out in the open. If they still wont work to solve the issues then I assume they either allow me to continue working (highly unlikely) or they do something else, I don't know what their options will be however.
So I could refuse and then raise a grievance which should mean all details come out ? Or could they then simply sack me leaving me no choice but to go to a tribunal ?
Thanks for the advice, I agree, copying in a VP and trying to 'out' the Manager is not the best idea I have ever had, and yes it is absolutely anger!
I think I will try the approach of asking for the meeting because I would like to understand the reasons for the offer being made and that I would like to understand the next steps if I choose not to accept.
I think anyway that they will reject the meeting and the answer to my question on next steps but for my own piece of mind I need to ask.
I have a meeting scheduled with a Solicitor tomorrow morning, I was going to ask about my options but I think you have covered that already. (The company have offered to pay upto £350 +VAT towards agreeing the settlement). So I will instead focus on the settlement agreement.
I do want to push for a little more money and more favourable terms and as such I was thinking of asking for the following:
- Paid gardening leave for 6 months (or I am willing to work which they wont accept) whereby I retain my company car at no cost to me, to aid my search for a new job. (It will be impossible without a car.)
- £30K tax free lump sum (I think this is the maximum that can be provided tax free and is equivalent to approx 6 months take home pay) plus outstanding bonus and holiday pay at the end of the 6 months or when I find a new position, whichever is sooner.
- Detailed pre-agreed reference.
- Agree that this is redundancy not a settlement as I don't want to have to explain to a potential employer that it was a settlement.
Does that sound reasonable ? At the end of the day, they want me out and don't want to run an internal process to hear my side of things.
Jenny, thanks for all your advice, before I close this conversation do you know if there is a way to print it off ?
Hi Jenny, I have just tried to give my rating and I get an error message saying 'Access denied, you do not have permission to view this page' after I click submit. Any ideas ?