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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 48736
Experience:  Qualified Employment Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
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I have worked at a company 9 years. There has been a change

Customer Question

I have worked at a company for nearly 9 years. There has been a change of management and I feel I have been forced out of the company. I threatened to put a grievance in and HR have agreed to a settlement to stop me from putting in grievance. They have offered me 9 weeks notice period paid (taxed) then 3 months ex gratia. I don't think this is enough of a compensation. Do you think I can negotiate more?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Employment Law
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.

Hello in what ways do you fee you have been forced out? What has happened exactly? Please note I am in tribunal today so won't be able to reply fully until later today thanks

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Hello Ben, I am an Executive Assistant and when new boss started he asked what I enjoyed most about my job. I told him I most recently enjoyed all the events coordination I've been doing. He suggested I go and approach independent events companies for a chat to see if I like that job. He also told me there may be an option for me to perhaps work 1 day a week in said events company or there may even be the possibility of going on sabbatical leave as I've been with current company for nearly 9 years- so that I can go and work in events. This made me very upset- he was also pressurising me to give him s list of 10 events companies that I contact by our next routine. This on top of him being really horrible to me over the last 10 months and other problems I've had with him caused me to be signed off work for 1 month due to work related stress. I was also referred by doctors to a therapist for 6 sessions as I had been complaining about the stress I've been under at work.
My boss also allowed a member of staff to bring a dog into the office twice a week which I am scared of. I told him I was scared of dog and was told that I should go and sit in a different office whenever the dog was in. This meant I was away from both my bosses (joint Managing Directors who I EA to and the rest of my colleagues)
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.

Many thanks for your patience. Whether you can try and negotiate more will really depend on the employer. They may have a maximum figure in mind which they would not go past and it may already be the one that they have offered you. At the same time their first offer may not be their best one so there could be room for improvement. Your best chance of negotiating for more is if you can show that you have a potentially valid claim against them which could cost them a lot more than what they are offering you.

In the circumstances, your situation could potentially amount to constructive dismissal, which occurs when the following two elements are present:
• Serious breach of contract by the employer; and
• An acceptance of that breach by the employee, who in turn treats the contract of employment as at an end. The employee must act in response to the breach and must not delay any action too long.

A common breach by the employer occurs when it, or its employees, have broken the implied contractual term of trust and confidence. The conduct relied on could be a single act, or a series of less serious acts over a period of time, which together could be treated as serious enough (usually culminating in the 'last straw' scenario).

So this is the potential angle you can take to try and negotiate further with them. Make it clear that you are expecting an improved offer (be realistic at the same time about how much you are asking on top) and state that if not greed you will have to resign and then pursue a claim for constructive dismissal which will cost the, a lot more in time and money to defend and therefore it would be in the best interest of all concerned if they simply gave you a better settlement and you can draw a line under it without further inconvenience and costs to either party.

This is your basic legal position. I have more detailed advice for you in terms of one other option you have to negotiate with them, 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 is no extra cost and leaving a rating will not close the question and we can continue this discussion. Thank you

Ben Jones and other Employment Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Sorry I didn't realise requesting a phone call would be an additional cost. I do not wish to receive a phone call from you- instead just continue conversation by message
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.

Thank you. I have not accepted your phone call request so you will not be charged for it.

Going back to your query, if you cannot negotiate with the employer now and you are forced to leave and claim constructive dismissal, 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:

https://ec.acas.org.uk/Submission/SingleClaimantPage

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.