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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 48193
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RBS has settled unfairly in cases of redundancies in India

Customer Question

RBS has settled unfairly in cases of redundancies in India of about 150 employees discriminating payments. The business was sold to a local bank as a normal sale not covered under TUPE with major changes in certain conditions. Pressure and harassment was applied pushing employees to sign one sided settlement agreements as the buyer needed the employees necessarily however employees were offered more out of need by the new employer rather than under contract of sale with RBS. While some employees got the redundancy payments as per normal formula as they were needed at a later date vs some employees need immediately, the employees who joined earlier did not get the dues as per redundancy formula. The discrimination has been rampant under the disguise of blackmail that negative references will be given to new employer ( not under TUPE ) if settlement agreement were not signed which only offered unto 15 to 20% of payments vs actual dues of employees. The indian business is a branch office of UK based RBS and therefore governed as per UK laws while local indian laws also need to be followed. All employees are RBS group employees as the bank operates as branch office in India. What legal help would be available for these 150 odd employees if a legal case is taken to ACAS is the question ?
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 3 years ago.
Ben Jones : Hello, my name is ***** ***** it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today. Are you simply asking what legal assistance may exist if this was to be taken further?
Customer:

Yes and also an opinion from th perspective to proceed legally by filing a case in uk

Ben Jones : Employment law matters do not really get any financial assistance in the UK and almost all will be privately funded. For example there is no option of having legal aid as in criminal matters. There may be some tribunal fee remissions for those on low income but no assistance in terms of meeting the legal costs. So any legal claims must be funded individually or as a group, so for example if there is a large party making a joint claim they can all pool together to meet the resulting legal costs. Other options for individuals is to check whether they have any legal assistance cover, such as from house or car insurance they may have in their name although this would depend on the actual policy and cover they have. The is also the Free Representations Unit which could offer free legal assistance but they are very busy and it is difficult to get them on board, but no harm in trying. As to pursuing this in the Uk tribunals, Regulation 19 of the Employment Tribunals (Constitution and Rules of Procedure) Regulations 2004 provides that: (1) An employment tribunal in England or Wales shall only have jurisdiction to deal with proceedings… where-(a) the respondents or one of the respondents resides or carries on business in England and Wales.
Ben Jones : So for example as long as the business against which the claim is made is incorporated in the UK then a claim could be pursued here
Customer:

Ben the query is not about aid or financial support. The query is what and how can we proceed legally against rbs is the question and how do we find the right firm or lawyer to represent us

Ben Jones : Ok sorry for any misunderstanding. Did the employees receive legal advice from a solicitor when they signed the settlement agreements?
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Customer: replied 3 years ago.

No legal advice was offered no talks with anyone as representative of the people there are numerous documents where employees have raised pertinent questions The response is tht the employees will have to resign or be asked leave without redundancy because potential buyer offered jobs though not under conditions detailed per se in TUPE. The buyer independently offered some jobs and subsequently to employees who had received redundancies as well. compelling conditions were created for certain employees in a particular biz divisions so tht they were forced to sign separation agreements with much lesser amounts than due as per formula available

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 3 years ago.
It does not appear that these were formal settlement agreements because that would require formal advice by a solicitor to become legally binding. Had such agreements been in place then any claims against the employer would have been barred and you would only be looking at a potential claim against the advisers, for example if they gave negligent advice.

What i need to know is what the redundancy formula you are referring to is, was that the minimum statutory amount, or was it an enhanced redundancy scheme offered by the employer which was contained in the employees' contracts?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

The formula offered to some employees was based on abn amro banks formula a large number of employees were paid on this formula before and after the particular biz unit was sold. To be clear business banking portfolio was sold the employees in biz banking got 20% odd amount vs what other employees in retail got As per formula. The story given was because the buyer was offering jobs to biz banking however this was not nder TUPE at all as employees were never part of the formal sale agreement. a number of retail employees who got the correct or full redundancy as per formula also ended up getting jobs with the buyer. The separation agreements were forced upon biz banking employees and were 1 sided worded as they were mutual separation agreements while in reality there was noting mutual in it.

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 3 years ago.
Well as mentioned the settlement agreements are unlikely to be legally binding because the employees did not receive independent legal advice over their contents, which is a legal requirement before they are legally valid. So whilst generally these agreements would have prevented them from makingnfurther claims against the employer, that could still be a possibility in the circumstances. The redundancy payments could be argued from a persoective that if these enhanced amounts had been paid before on a regular basis, they had become contractually binding through custom and practice and the employer's failure to pay this can be a breach of contract