Hello, my name is***** am a qualified lawyer and I will be assisting you with your question today.
Do you agree with the allegations they have presented?
Hi there, a good starting point is to look at The Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 and related statutory instruments, which impose a general duty on employers to ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, the health, safety and welfare at work of all their employees. This includes a duty to undertake risk assessments and manage activities to reduce the incidence of stress at work. In addition, under common law an employer owes a duty of care towards its employees, the breach of which can amount to negligence.
As no standalone claim exists for being exposed to stress, the affected employee has the following options open to them if they were going to challenge their employer over this:
1. Grievance - this is a formal internal complaint, following which the employer is obliged to investigate the issues and deal with them in an appropriate manner. It should always be the first step in trying to bring the problem to the employer's attention and to try and reach a resolution.
2. Constructive dismissal - this occurs where the employee resigns because they feel they were left with no other option in the circumstances. Further considerations include:
· It must be shown that the employer had acted in breach of the implied terms to provide a safe system of work or through their actions (or inactions) had broken the mutual trust and confidence
· The breach relied on must be sufficiently serious to justify instant resignation
· This claim is only available to those with at least 2 years' continuous service with their employer and must be made within 3 months of resigning.
So you can consider going down the constructive dismissal route and trying to negotiate a settlement agreement instead of pursuing a claim against them. If that is not possible and you are either dismissed or forced to resign you will get another chance to negotiate with them, which I can discuss in more detail with you.
This is your basic legal position. I have more detailed advice for you in terms of the options you have on taking this further, including the negotiating options, 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
Hi there, if you go off sick then you would be paid whatever your contractual sick pay entitlement is. What they are offering you is a settlement agreement which is where you get paid off to leave and in turn you agree not to take any legal action against them. I would say that their first offer is unlikely their best one so you could consider negotiating with them for more.
If no negotiations are possible and you are forced to leave then you will get a further opportunity to negotiate with them. That is because 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:
Glad to hear things are progressing and that you are working to resolve this