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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 44874
Experience:  Qualified Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
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I was dismissed wrongfully 18 years ago by a company who paid

Customer Question

I was dismissed wrongfully 18 years ago by a company who paid me to leave and had me sign a confidentiality letter/document and was paid for this in compensation. I had previously had exemplary reviews for 16 years but when a new director appeared on the scene and I was on maternity leave for all of 3 months he said not to bother with the review that year. Within 18months he arranged my dismissal. I took advice after giving all the information to my solicitor he said to accept the terms even though I said there was a definite hidden agenda. Now I have discovered that the reason he wanted me out of there was to carry out a major VAT scam and given the figures involved I could see it all so clearly as with me on board he would never have got away with it. This is a major international company and they kept it out of the press. Do I have any recourse now that I can prove what the then hidden agenda was?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 2 years ago.

Ben Jones :

Hello, my name is Ben and it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today.

Ben Jones :

What do you hope to achieve please?

JACUSTOMER-nmnk5hpb- :

I would like to address the matter of the termination of my contract and obtain compensation more fitting to the situation as it is now apparent why my unlawful dismissal came about. My pension was frozen at the time and is due to be paid this summer but I have learned that the major portion of my pension is not subject to a guaranteed annual increase but is discretionary on the part of the trustees. Had I been with the company for the last 18 years my pension pot would have been far grater and an even far greater portion of it would be subject to a guaranteed annual increase. An apology would also be very nice to have.

Ben Jones :

I am afraid you are very late to make any claim about this at this stage. In the UK, there are limitation periods for all types of claim where you must submit the claim to the courts within a specific period before it becomes 'statute barred' and you are no longer capable of taking the matter further. In relation to unfair dismissal the limits are very short at only 3 months from date of dismissal. Wrongful dismissal has the same time limit. Had you considered a breach of contract claim then it would have been 6 years from the date of the alleged breach. In any event - after 18 years all time limits would have passed by now so you would not be in a position to make a claim against them as it would just be struck off before it proceeds any further. This is even if you have only just recently found out the true reasons for this dismissal.

JACUSTOMER-nmnk5hpb- :

I am confused, why if this is the case did you not say so from the outset?

JACUSTOMER-nmnk5hpb- :

Is there a time limit on the confidentiality clause?

Ben Jones :

I needed to know what you wanted to achieve before I provided my response...What are you trying to claim for the confidentiality clause?

JACUSTOMER-nmnk5hpb- :

I need people to know the truth

Ben Jones :

The confidentiality clause would be indefinite unless a specific date was mentioned, but it is possible to claim that as the agreement was entered into based on false information and that the employer had breached the contract, that the whole agreement is void and as such the confidentiality clause would also not apply. The issue then is you would be required to repay any money you received as part of it

JACUSTOMER-nmnk5hpb- :

It was not such a great sum and would certainly be worth more to certain parties.

Ben Jones :

well that is the risk you face if you wish to break the confidentiality clause by arguing the whole agreement was void...so it is up to you to decide whether to go down that route or not

JACUSTOMER-nmnk5hpb- :

Do you have any first hand experience of these matters or are you just reading what I already read on the internet as you have not told me anything different than my first search brought up?

Ben Jones :

It is not different because that is what your situation actually is... I am an employment lawyer and also deal with contracts and I have dealt with many times with limitation periods as well as breaches of contracts etc

JACUSTOMER-nmnk5hpb- :

Ok, so in your experience has anyone gone to the board with information and if so what was the outcome?

Ben Jones :

You cannot predict what the board will do - each company is different and how the matter is dealt with depends entirely on the people running it. So one company could take action if they have this information, others may not. Predicting that at this stage is impossible. If they do take action it very much depends on what exactly happened, this could have to be reported to HMRC, those that were involved could be dealt with internally if they are still there and son....the options are endless really and would depend on the individual circumstances

JACUSTOMER-nmnk5hpb- :

ok, I will write to them and at least request a letter of apology.

Ben Jones :

you can certainly request that, nothing to lose really by doing so, but it is taking the formal legal route that will be restricted

JACUSTOMER-nmnk5hpb- :

The law needs to be changed!

JACUSTOMER-nmnk5hpb- :

thanks and bye

Ben Jones :

Well there are many things in law that may not suit everyone but it is as it is now unfortunately

Ben Jones :

Can I clarify anything else for you?

Ben Jones :

Please let me know if this has answered your original question or if you need me to clarify anything else for you in relation to this? Thanks

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