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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 44323
Experience:  Qualified Employment Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
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I have been a Project manager for 7 years at my present

Resolved Question:

I have been a Project manager for 7 years at my present company. I have been off with stress brought on by too many Projects requiring my attention at the same time, this was pointed out several time to my senior managers.
I asked the doctor to give me a return to work note 2 weeks prior to my sick note running out. I returned to work and was surprised when I had my return to work meeting with the Hr person and a director, it turned into them reading out a list of things that I had supposedly not done correctly which could result in a disciplinary or re training, the alternative that they gave me was to leave with 7 weeks notice along with 2 months salary.
My doctors return to work note stated "workplace support to reduce risk of deterioration" this action has caused me more anxiety.
I don't think that it was fair of them to present me with a list without a knowledge of it previously, if there was anything really bad on the list surely they would have sacked me. I requested a copy but they would not give me one, so as I told them how can I prepare my defence.
A similar thing happened recently with one of the directors he was let go out of the blue
They obviously want me gone but I need to get the best deal possible
Submitted: 18 days ago.
Category: Employment Law
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 18 days ago.

Hello, my name is***** am a qualified lawyer and I will be assisting you with your question today.

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 18 days ago.

Do you agree with the allegations they have presented?

Customer: replied 18 days ago.
One item was me contacting the client whilst off sick, I agreed with that one and see it has positive, a few other items refer to me not using the new Project Management paperwork, which I believe that I do, I told them to check this fact. The final one was that one of my projects had additional work done without a Purchase Order being issued, not too sure what they are getting at there but it will only be a small amount of software, the project finances are healthy £270k quote £135k spend on labour and materials
Customer: replied 18 days ago.
Hi Ben
Apologies but need to go to the hospital now with my wife for some tests, will be back around 12.00
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 18 days ago.

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

Customer: replied 18 days ago.
5 stars thank you
Customer: replied 18 days ago.
Apologies we are back now from the hospital
If I do not leave tomorrow, one option would be to continue off sick accompanied with a doctors note, alternatively I could stall for time to take legal advice, would they have to pay me if I took the take legal action option,is one question?
They told me that the offer is for a limited time and if I accepted it I would have to sign a disclaimer that prevented me from taking them to court later which is understandable
They want me to roll over and I am thinking that that will be the less stress option, but being 60 years of age I think that they are thinking that will be the conclusion by the threat of limiting the time the offer is available and also not declaring in detail what they think they have over me.
Genuinely I feel that I am an open and honest person and have successfully delivery many projects for this company, and have gained the respect of many clients, it appears that one person is victimising me for some unknown reason.Regard
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 18 days ago.

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:

Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 44323
Experience: Qualified Employment Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
Ben Jones and other Employment Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 17 days ago.
Thank you for all of your advice Ben, I have been into work and accepted an improved settlement offer which I have accepted, they are going to send me the paperwork that I need a solicitor to check.Thank youAlan Jordan
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 17 days ago.

Glad to hear things are progressing and that you are working to resolve this

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