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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 47341
Experience:  Qualified Employment Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
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I wanted some advice on settlements and tribunals. A

Resolved Question:

Hello, I wanted some advice on settlements and tribunals. A few years ago I was bullied at work by the chief excusive who was also my line manager. After a year and a half I put in a grievance against him for bullying and harassment. The grievance procedure took 4 months to complete and during that time we both remained at work in a relatively small building which was very stressful. Eventually my grievance was not only upheld but said to be well founded. The chief executive was given a golden handshake and left the company to 'pursue other interests'. There was no compromise agreement for me or any HR follow up of any sort until about 18 months later at my next review where I mentioned this. I was then offered one counselling session.
Over the last few years my job has been picked away at and I have lost almost the entirety of my department (it has gone from 12 full time staff to me and one part time), I have no support from my current line manager and can work up 80 - 90 hours a week to get the job done.
In November I had a break down and was signed off work with depression and work related stress. I was off work for 4 months and during this time there was very little support from the company and only one issue of 4 which I identified as the cause of my health issues was addressed. I returned on 12th April and at my back to work meeting where I thought the remaining issues would be discussed I was in fact asked to talk 'without prejudice' and if I wanted to remain with the company. I was told if I did I would be supported and if not my service to the company would be recognised. At no point was a settlement or money mentioned. I was given 2 weeks to make my decision, I protested this but was told I had to come back in two weeks. On Friday 22nd April about 5pm I was called in to a meeting where I was told there was a settlement on the table of £9000, I was shocked by this and asked for more time to think it over but was told I still had to make a decision by the following Tuesday. On Tuesday 26th April I went to the meeting and said I had not had enough time to make a decision but did discuss the settlement and if I went for it that I would want £20,000 and gave a lot of reasons why, one of them being I do a very specific job and this company is the only place in this area that has this position. Yesterday I was told that the settlement offer had gone up to £14,000 which is 6 months salary and that no other counter offer would be accepted. I have to give my decision today or the offer comes off the table!
I suppose what I want to know is do I have a case for a tribunal and if so do you think it would be worth doing? If I'm honest I don't know if I could cope with going through one, I feel like I've been through enough already!
Many thanks!
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Employment Law
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.
Hello, my name is***** am a qualified lawyer and it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today.
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.
How long have you been employed there?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
10 years in this post which is full time but previously about 15 years as a freelancer
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.
Thank you for your response. I will review the relevant information and laws and will get back to you as soon as I can. Please do not respond to this message as it will just push your question to the back of the queue and you may experience unnecessary delays. Thank you
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.
Many thanks for your patience. Looking at the situation you have gone through, I cannot say with certainty that you have a very strong case which I would encourage you to pursue because you are guaranteed to get a large pay off for yes, there are factors which can make you take the matter further and consider a potential claim for constructive dismissal, however these claims are rather difficult to pursue and it would be down to you to convince the tribunal that you had a valid claim and you satisfied the necessary criteria. You certainly have a reasonable chance but it would be risky at the same time and if you are not entirely up for the fight, it could affect your prospects. As such if you are considering leaving and there is an offer on the table you should consider it. Not saying that you have to accept it as it is, but you can try and push them for one final uplift. Have a figure you would stick to, lower than the 20k, for example 16k and hope that they will give that final uplift. You can say that you are considering resigning and claiming constructive dismissal and that if successful you will likely get more and they will also have to pay legal fees to defend so it would be in the interest of both parties to settle this now and that extra couple of thousand will not be a major problem for them.This is your basic legal position. I have more detailed advice for you in terms of one more option you can rely on to negotiate with them before you can make a claim, which I wish to discuss so please take a second to leave a positive rating for the service so far (by selecting 3, 4 or 5 stars) and I can continue with that and answer any further questions you may have. Don’t worry, there I no extra cost and leaving a rating will not close the question and we can continue this discussion. Thank yoU
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Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.
Thank you. A new feature in the employment tribunal’s claims process is mandatory early conciliation with ACAS. This requires prospective claimants to notify ACAS and provide details of their intended claim and they would then try to negotiate between the claimant and respondent to seek out of court settlement in order to avoid having to take the claim to the tribunal. It is possible for the parties to refuse to engage in these negotiations, or that they are unsuccessful, in which case they would get permission to proceed with making the claim in the tribunal. If negotiations are initiated and settlement is reached, then the claimant would agree not to proceed with the claim in return for the agreed financial settlement. The conciliation procedure and the form to fill in can be found here: In terms of the time limits within which a claim must be presented, the early conciliation process places a ‘stop’ on that and the time between notifying ACAS and them issuing permission to proceed with the claim would not count for the purposes of these time limits.