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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 47612
Experience:  Qualified Employment Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
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I would appreciate some advice on my employment issue. My

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Hi. I would appreciate some advice on my employment issue. My site is closing and therefore I face redundancy. Along side the redundancy I have been going through performance management review, grievance/appeal process and long term sick (17 weeks) due to work related stress. Although my grievance relates to being singled out I have been advised that it doesn't strongly follow the characteristics of age, sex or race. I do have numerous emails and other electronic date stamped back up but that doesn't appear to make my case any stronger.I have just been sent my redundancy estimate and 'without prejudice and subject to contract agreement'. I have the following questions:(1) My representative sent through the Management Redundancy Package. I have an outstanding question with my company on this and would love some clarity. It explains the redundancy package and how it is calculated which I understand and can agree with their calculations. It also goes on to explain additional payments for long term employees which I can understand. It is the following paragraph that I cannot get any answers to: "In addition if you remain until the date you are asked to stay to you will receive a payment equivalent to the higher of 1 week per year of service (up to 12 weeks), or your contractual notice period". I know that in my Contract of Employment both parties have to give 3 months notice, so I have taken that as read and therefore would expect to get 3 months notice (either to serve or paid in lieu). Is the paragraph I have quoted from my redundancy package email an additional payment? I have asked for clarification on this from my Company and have not received any reply. How do I ensure that I am not being treated any differently to any other of my senior management team? I would never ask to leave my company early. I would work until my company asked me to leave.(2) I also get a bonus at work which I have received for the past three years. In the draft agreement they are quoting a payment in lieu of the bonus. I have no idea how they are calculating this and whether I am being treated fairly against the other members of my senior management team who face redundancy too. How do I get this confirmed?(3) My company are also advising that I use their preferred solicitor. I can use another solicitor but the company have advised that they will only contribute £100 towards the costs. Can they do this? The preferred solicitors in question will be dealing with potentially 750 people that are being made redundant at my company. If I use the preferred solicitors what tasks will they be able to do on my behalf? Obviously I feel that I have been unfairly treated ie. performance management review grievance/appeal and long term sick - will I be able to ask them to look into this too and make sure that I am being fairly treated?(4) I also realise that I may face being dismissed through capability due to my long term sickness. Could an employer really get rid of you when everyone else in my site is facing redundancy and I have mentioned many times in my conversations via phone and emails that I wish to come back to work and therefore would appreciate someone from my company contacting me on my return to work schedule?Additional info: I have worked for my current employer for 8 years. Until my long term sickness, I was rarely ill. My employer have never contacted me once to find out how I am or to find out how they can help to get me back to work. I have repeatedly told them that I wish to return to work and would appreciate return to work conversations/mediation. Please also note that my finance director in an off the record conversation has already advised that whether I come back to work, go through the redundancy talks and meetings for performance management review and grievance the outcome will be the same in that my leaving date will be end of May 2016.Advice gratefully appreciated.
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.
Please can you kindly tell me what would you like the ideal outcome to be so that I can look at your options.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Hi BenThank you for your reply. You helped me with a query before and so I am happy you are helping me again. Ideal outcome would be to leave my company with a fair redundancy package which is the same as my senior management and some compensation for the unfair behaviour that I have endured.
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.
Hi there. You are welcome. Well, let me review the relevant information and laws and get back to you. As before, 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 and speak soon.
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.
Many thanks for your patience. So to answer your queries:1. If you have a clause which deals with your notice period and one which deals with the redundancy and then there is this clause which says that ‘in addition’ you get this payment, I would read it that it is an extra payment on top of the notice and redundancy. So press the company for an answer and if needed you can always approach the other workers going through this to ensure that are not being treated differently.
2. You can always ask for a breakdown of how your bonus entitlement was calculated and ask for reference to the policies which they have used in this respect. You are unlikely to get specific reference to individuals due to data protection but perhaps you can persuade the employer to issue a redacted chart with names blanked out t serve as reference that you are getting what you are due.
3. Assuming that you are going to use the solicitor to advise you on a settlement agreement, then you are able to choose whichever solicitor you want. However, at the same time the employer is not legally obliged to contribute anything towards the costs. It is accepted practice but not a legal requirement. Also if you use the preferred solicitor then you can ask them to advise on whatever but the employer may not cover any such additional costs
4. It is possible for an employer to dismiss you on grounds of capability, if you are unable to perform your job. However, if you are going to face redundancy very soon anyway and employer tries to rush through a capability dismissal it could raise concerns about its fairness. That is where you could potentially challenge it as an unfair dismissal, and if your illness qualifies as a disability, as potential disability discrimination.I hope this has answered your query. I would be grateful if you could please take a second to leave a positive rating (3, 4 or 5 stars) as that is an important part of our process and recognises the time I have spent assisting you. If you need me to clarify anything before you go - please get back to me on here and I will assist further as best as I can. Thank you
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Hi Ben. Thank you for your reply. An email that I received from my Finance Director asked me to confirm that I was happy to go forward with this. My reply was that I was happy in principle with the process being carried out in relation to the settlement agreement. I hope I haven't agreed to anything more than that. Also within this email, I have asked the question why this additional payment has not be included in my calculation. I have reiterated the paragraph in the same email. I am hoping that asking again and in writing he will have to reply. Fingers crossed.In the attached documentation my suggested leaving date is 31 May 2016, can this be changed if required? If you are still negotiating past that date will that date need to be revised?Thank you for your help.
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.
Hi, a settlement agreement will not be legally binding until you have been advised by a legal advisor and it has been signed by both parties following such advice. So you will not be bound by it at this stage. All you would have agreed to is that you are willing to consider it and receive the advice which will help you make the final decision. What the employer may wish to do is to keep you until 31 May and terminate your employment by paying you in lieu of notice. However, if the settlement agreement has not been negotiated before then it does not prevent them fro terminating you then still, it just won't be under the terms of that agreement, it is however possible for them to delay the termination date if necessary. Also I have just noticed one thing on the clause for the additional payment - I must have misread that as I was on the tablet when I read it and did not see the part after the (up to 12 weeks) wording - basically it says that you will receive the additional payment OR your contractual notice period. So it could well be that this payment is instead of the contractual notice period rather than in addition to it. So it is unfortunately possible for the to say that you get either your contractual notice payment or this payment and it will be the higher of the two which you would receive. Sorry for any misunderstanding on my initial response. If your original question has been answered I would be grateful if you could please quickly rate my answer by selecting 3, 4 or 5 starts at the top of the page - it only takes a second to do and is an important part of our process. I can still answer follow up questions afterwards if needed. Thank you
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