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taratill
taratill, Solicitor
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 6339
Experience:  15 years experience of advising on employment law matters
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Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Employment Law
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I was recently employed under a contract in Sierra leone for 14 months to a UK based firm to service the Government of Sierra Leone. The contract said UK laws. The employment was within a consortium of 3 firms
After working for 6 weeks, I was suddenly forced to leave the country on 1 days notice, accused by a colleague that i had swore at them, which did not happen. I was told the other employee refused to work with me, so I had to leave. I was given no chance for redress, the Government of Sierra leone was not consulted and were informed after I had been evicted from the country. In fact I was given a sweep of unsubstantuated reasons for evicting me, I was denied the chance to return to work for transition. From what I sense I was wrongfully dismissed. Can I get some advise please
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
It is now another day can someone please act on this please.
Expert:  taratill replied 1 year ago.

Hi my name is ***** ***** I am a UK employment lawyer. if your contract is governed by UK laws then you should have been given a weeks notice (or paid in lieu of notice). If you were not then you can send your employer a letter before action asking for payment of the weeks pay.

If it is not paid then you can bring a claim in the UK employment tribunals.

If you have any further questions please do ask. If I have answered your question I would be grateful if you would take the time to rate my answer. Thank you and all the best.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
The company (UK based and contract says UK laws) that hired me provided in the employment package a whistleblower outline. The events leading to my sudden eviction. 1/ I had identified that the team leader who is from a partner firm within the Consortium was forcing the team to do tasks contrary to the ToR, undermining the performance, of the contract servicing the client. Despite several questions to this the leader insisted on this track.
2/ on the morning of Thursday 30 june 0800 I met with the company's and Consortium country managers and informed them of this undermining fact, that the country government/client partners could corroborate this, and that I would be informing the CEO of the company. ( This was a line of communications indicated in the whistleblower guideline) The country manager told me it was not necessary as the CEO was too busy. On that same day, Thursday 30 june at around 1500 I was called to meet with the company manager, I was not permitted a colleague to accompany me. I met the company country manager Thursday 30 june at around 1700, where was informed I was being fired. I was told no one in the country government/client partners were consulted. That I was to leave the country on 1 days notice, accused by the colleague/team leader that had been undermining the ToRs, that I had swore at them, which did not happen. I was told the other employee refused to work with me, so I had to leave. I asked for and was denied any form of proper inquiry or chance for redress, it was stated that the Consortium partner the Government of Sierra leone was not consulted, nor were colleagues. In fact I was given a sweep of unsubstantiated reasons for evicting me, I was denied the chance to return to work for transition, threatened with paying the hotel bill (part of contract) if I did not leave within 24 hrs.
In fact I did not even have time to notify the CEO of the firm.
In the whistleblower guidelines, it was cited under Public Interest Disclosure Act 1998, included a statement "(No worker will suffer any disadvantage at work for making a qualifying disclosure.)", a protected disclosure. Its my understanding that the act of the company and country managers who forced my sudden departure violate 2 key principles and produced an automatically unfair dismissal a least at 2 levels :
- sacking concerning employee making a protected disclosure
- depriving employee proper accompaniment for disciplinary or grievance meeting – In fact I was deprived of this request along with my request for a redress and proper hearing on Thursday 30th afternoon.
Not forgetting there appears to be several other Acas practices that were ignored.The manner with which I was treated also shows bullying and it appears to have been rubber stamped by senior management
appears to have broken the fundamental mutual trust and confidence relationship between employer and myself and thus created a constructive dismissal context also.
I have subsequently finally informed the CEO of the firm, the Consortium responsible for my treatment and the Government of Sierra Leone partners of the facts, in the public interest, both for the Consortium, GoSL and GoUK. The company has requested that I bill them for a 14 day severance, they have not fully paid me for services already rendered, despite emails saying they would pay me on time. Am I in billing them agreeing to the manner in which I was fired and absolving them of their actions and any claim against them?
Expert:  taratill replied 1 year ago.

If you sign a settlement agreement to accept the payment then you will be prevented from bringing a future claim under the Public Interest Disclosure Act.

You should note you only have 3 months from the dates of the detriment to bring this claim so I would suggest you commence proceedings sooner rather than later if you cannot settle for a suitable fee.

If you have any further questions please do ask. if i have answered your question I would be grateful if you would take the time to rate my answer. Thank you and all the best.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I never signed a settlement agreement, I was just shoved out the door
Expert:  taratill replied 1 year ago.

well then you have 3 months to raise a claim. You need to start ACAS early conciliation first. Details can be found at www.acas.org.uk

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I would like your opinion on my points and chances within the tribunal system
Expert:  taratill replied 1 year ago.

Without knowing the full facts and seeing evidence I cannot give a conclusive view (it would be impossible). On the face of it there is a case to answer. Whether it is worth bringing a claim depends on the degree of economic loss you have suffered as a result of the detriment. From a practical point of view if you are not based in the UK it will not be an easy process.

If you start ACAS proceedings you will probably find the employer is more inclined to settle out of court.

Expert:  taratill replied 1 year ago.

hello is there anything further you would like to know as I can see you have not yet rated my answer which is an important part of the process.

Expert:  taratill replied 1 year ago.

Hello?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Hi you omitted to answer my question : The company has requested that I bill them for a 14 day severance, they have not fully paid me for services already rendered, despite emails saying they would pay me on time. Am I in billing them agreeing to the manner in which I was fired and absolving them of their actions and any claim against them? I have never signed any severance settlement.
Expert:  taratill replied 1 year ago.

As I stated above you can accept this payment and still claim. You are only prevented from bringing a future claim if you accept the money by way of a settlement agreement.

I hope this clarifies matters for you. Good luck with it.

taratill and other Employment Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Hi Jenny I have some more questions
To clarify, if I bill them the 14 days they want me to bill them, without signing it as as a settlement agreement, then my rights and chances for compensation for unfair dismissal and detriment are continued. For reference the contract text section is
"12. TERMINATION
12.1. Subject to clause 12.2 below, either party may terminate this Agreement prior to expiry of the Duration by giving to the other party not less than 14 working days written notice. For the avoidance of doubt, no notice is required to be provided to confirm completion of the Duration. The Adviser will only be entitled to be paid for those days actually worked during the 14 working day notice period and for which there was an unrescinded agreement from XXXX that the Adviser would work."Further in the forced departure process, I was told I could not return to work, and that I would receive this 14 days payment for which I received a letter signed by the Managing Director with text "It is with regret that we inform you that you will no longer be required to perform the Energy Sector Adviser role for the Sierra Leone Presidential Delivery Team as of 20th July 2016."Additionally I have heard the term "If the employer gives the employee pay in lieu of notice this will be a breach of contract unless there is an express provision in the employee's contract allowing it to do this. Such a breach of contract will not, however, permit the employee to recover damages in bringing a claim for breach of contract provided that the payment in lieu compensated the employee fully for the wages and benefits that he or she would have received in the notice period."I should note the company in question despite several email assurances they would pay my salary (within 30days) for work already provided back in June, by the end of July they have not done so, nor have they done so in the past for previous months: always up to 15 days delay. They are not replying to my email requests for payment of June. The clause for payment in contract is
"2.3. Provided the electronic invoice is received by the end of the second UK working day after the calendar month that the Services were provided, and is complete, XXXX will aim to make payment to the Adviser within 30 days of the date of such an invoice. Otherwise, XXXX will pay the invoice within 60 days of the date of the invoice." Is there any way that I can use this in any action ?Pertaining to the claim for unfair dismissal. You said I must take this first to the ACAS early conciliation first and likely the employer will be more inclined to settle out of court. What are my options ? I understand the initial ACAS early conciliation first but after that; if no settlement is obtained. 1/ Is all the process mandated to pass through the employment tribunal ? A/ Then must I go through the tribunals process seeking the maximum compensation allowed as my projected annual salary (for the 14 month contract) exceeded the maximum compensation sum. How long does this take, which part of UK would I do this under ? Thanks ***** 2/ Can I proceed with an attorney and demand compensation for detriment ?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Hi Jenny could you answer my question above. Thanks in advance