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taratill
taratill, Solicitor
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 6305
Experience:  15 years experience of advising on employment law matters
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Two days ago, out of the blue I've been asked to sign a settlement

Customer Question

Two days ago, out of the blue I've been asked to sign a settlement agreement to "effect a mutual termination of the Employee's contract of employment".
I have been asked to leave by May 30.
What are my rights
Submitted: 8 months ago.
Category: Employment Law
Expert:  taratill replied 8 months ago.
Hello my name is ***** ***** I am happy to help you today. How long have you worked there for and why are they terminating your employment?
Customer: replied 8 months ago.
I had been freelancing there for some years but they have employed me on 1st July 2014 and they want to terminate 30 May 2016There was no hint that this was going to happen. The boss says "can you come into my office". Someone was there from HR talking about terms of me parting with the company. I was shocked. I look at the boss for clarification and he says "we are going to do things differently, you have done nothing wrong, it's not personal".The document they have given me is a Settlement Agreement.They say they will give me one months notice - I don't need to work this - and this sum is taxable
plus 1 month "compensation payment".
Expert:  taratill replied 8 months ago.
Do you think there is an element of discrimination and when you were freelancing were you working solely for them?
Customer: replied 8 months ago.
I work for a newspaper running the travel desk - Travel EditorThey employed a new deputy editor. She role includes overseeing the lifestyle section. Travel is in lifestyle. My guess is that she wants to run the desk without me
Customer: replied 8 months ago.
And yes when I was freelancing I was working soley for them
Customer: replied 8 months ago.
She started in March. But there was no hint that this was on the cards
Expert:  taratill replied 8 months ago.
Ok if you have been offered a settlement agreement it is likely to contain a legal costs contribution clause. This is because, in order to be legally binding, the document must be signed by an independent solicitor. I think, on the basis of what you have said, it is likely that this amounts to unfair dismissal. When you take the document to the solicitor they will be able to try to negotiate an increased settlement figure. If this cannot be agreed you do not have to sign the document and can claim unfair dismissal instead. There is a issue over your length of service as you need 2 years employment to claim, but if your freelancing role was the same as your employed role this is a hurdle you can overcome. This is the basic legal position. I would be grateful if you would rate my answer and I will be happy to answer any further questions you may have.
taratill, Solicitor
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 6305
Experience: 15 years experience of advising on employment law matters
taratill and 3 other Employment Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 8 months ago.
Of course I will rate this.There is no mention of holiday pay. Should there be?
Expert:  taratill replied 8 months ago.
Yes you should be paid for outstanding accrued holiday pay as well.
Expert:  taratill replied 8 months ago.
You should be able to find an appointment with a solicitor very easily who will go through everything with you in detail If they have brought someone in to replace you then , so long as you can establish your employment started whilst you were frelancing you have a claim. I would definitely try to negotiate 6 months pay to leave on those grounds.
Customer: replied 8 months ago.
How should I ask them to increase the Compensation PaymentIs there anything else I can claim forIncidentally, the word redudancy does not appear in the agreement
Expert:  taratill replied 8 months ago.
The solicitor will do it on your behalf. No claim other than unfair dismissal.
Customer: replied 8 months ago.
Do I have to sign this document?
Customer: replied 8 months ago.
What happens if I dont
Expert:  taratill replied 8 months ago.
no you do not have to sign it if you do not want to. If you are don't and are dismissed you have the option to claim. I would strongly advise you take the document to a solicitor to go through it in detail and to try to negotiate on your behalf.
Customer: replied 8 months ago.
They have told me that I have to leave by 30th May. So I have been dismissed already. I only get paid if I sign this agreement
Customer: replied 8 months ago.
So if after May 30th this document remains unsigned what does it mean for them
Expert:  taratill replied 8 months ago.
Yes I understand. I still think you need to make an appointment for someone to look at the agreement and to explain your rights. You do not have to sign the agreement and can claim if you do not wish to. It is to your advantage to try to negotiate an increased settlement which the employer can help you to do.
Customer: replied 8 months ago.
Yes, I will do. But one last question. If I don;t sign this am I still employed?
Expert:  taratill replied 8 months ago.
Sorry should say which the 'solicitor' can help you to do not 'employer'.
Expert:  taratill replied 8 months ago.
No you are still employed till the 30 may at which point they may or may not dismiss you if you do not sign the agreement.
Customer: replied 8 months ago.
If they dismiss me, does that mean sacked? (sorry I know I said only one more)
Expert:  taratill replied 8 months ago.
I'm sorry I logged off before I saw your final question, yes dismissed means sacked.

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