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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 46195
Experience:  Qualified Employment Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
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I hope you are well, on Wednesday 5th I was completely out

Customer Question

Good Morning,
I hope you are well,
on Wednesday 5th I was completely out of the blue served a Settlement Agreement via an outsourced HR Company and escorted from my place of employment after 6years service. I have until the 17th Oct to comply. Else the offer will be with draw and I will be placed on a disciplinary for alleged complaints from mystery customers.
However this is a couple of months after I had a case of bullying upheld against the internal HR Officer by the same outsource HR Company!
The Settlement Paperwork is based on a Contract of Employment that I have until Tuesday to sign and hence isn't operational yet.
I have reason to believe the two issues are related.
I have the crazy situation that if I want to comply by signing the "new" contract paperwork i can't as I am not allow to communicate with anyone from the Company and if I did the Settlement would be null and void.
Please advise,
Kind Regards,
Graham C MARTIN
Submitted: 5 months ago.
Category: Employment Law
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 5 months ago.

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

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 5 months ago.

What are you hoping to achieve?

Customer: replied 5 months ago.
Justice? As I think this is a case of constructive dismissal via the back door,
As I have rattled the cage and the "new" MD has been "replacing" staff with younger more managable staff. He doesn't talk directly to the older staff as it is perceived he doesn't want to hear the truth as in the state of Company, so he wants to surround himself with younger less experienced staff who just tow his line.
Personally after this I couldn't go back to work in this environment but as I have high moral values I don't think its fair the way this being handled, plus at 53 my further employment choices are going to be limited.My hope is to further my voluntary First Aid Training to the next level and to train as an ambulance Technical and therefore a financial buffer would be a help.
On that subject I pointed out to the outsourced HR officer that by removing me from the premises, as the primary first aider that for HS reasons they had mismanaged the situation.
Therefore I think the settlement figure could be increased.
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 5 months ago.

Hello, sorry I was offline by the time you had replied. It does appear that the company wants you out and they have already approached you with the possibility of leaving under a settlement rather than them having to try and find reasons to dismiss you. There is nothing wrong with making a settlement offer, but you have to consider whether the reasons they may use to dismiss are going to be genuine. Unfortunately without knowing exactly what the allegations are and what evidence they have it can be somewhat difficult to pre-empt whether they will be able to justify any dismissal as being fair.

If you are adamant that you will not be able to return after all this, then the best option is indeed to try and leave via a settlement agreement. How you negotiate a higher pay out is unfortunately no straightforward matter and there is no magic way to go about it. In the end it will be a question of what you are willing to accept and what they are willing to pay. Neither party can be forced to accept an offer they are unhappy with so it is all about finding mutual ground.

What you can use to your advantage in negotiations is to make it clear that you do not agree with the reasons for any potential dismissal and that it clearly stems from the recent issues you have had, coupled with apparent age discrimination. So if you cannot agree on a figure, then assuming they go ahead and dismiss you, you would be seeking to pursue a claim in the employment tribunal for unfair dismissal and age discrimination and they would have to send a lot of money and time defending this and proving to the tribunal the dismissal was indeed fair and not discriminatory. Instead they should simply give you an improved offer and avoid any of this nuisance, ensuring a clean break between you.

This is your basic legal position. I have more detailed advice for you in terms of further negotiating options you have before you can make a claim in tribunal, 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, UK Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 46195
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 5 months ago.
Thank you for your response in this matter,
Can I, if needed implement the services of a solicitor to act on my behalf as the outsourced HR Company are allowing the sum of £450 to cover my legal expenses to 'approve" the settlement agreement?
I have a PDF copy of the settlement agreement and I made copies of the documentation relating to the previous incident.
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 5 months ago.

Hi there, for a settlement agreement to be legally binding you must engage a solicitor to advise you on its contents. They should also consider the circumstances of the settlement and whether you are getting a good deal so they can, if needed, negotiate with the employer further to try and increase the offer.

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