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Jenny
Jenny, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 6305
Experience:  Qualified Solicitor specialising in Employment Law and general legal matters. Please start your question For Jenny Only
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I would appreciate your advice please. On 5th November

Resolved Question:

I would appreciate your advice please.
On 5th November 2014, I was verbally offered an appointment as a Headteacher of a school in England. (I live in Scotland) The appointment was offered by the Chairman of the Governors. The appointment was due to begin on 1st April 2015.
On 7th November 2014, I received a letter from the same person, stating in writing that I had been offered the post and I had accepted.
On 3rd and 4th December 2014, at the request of the Chairman, I spent time at the School, meeting staff, children, parents and Governors.
I was contacted on 7th January 2015, to state that the Board has decided to revoke my appointment. I was given very patchy details but I believe that the Board's decisions has something to do with misinformation: the School that I was head of between 2001 and 2003 (Maidwell) was graded as 'Special Measures' in 2004 under the new Head - that is, I had not been Head of the school for some time. One of the reasons that the school was placed in SM was that my successor was absent throughout the inspection due to 'stress'.
However, I believe, but am trying to get more details from the Chairman, that this misinformation has been the source of a rumour campaign amongst parents and staff. I have tried contacting the Chairman, without success: he had promised an e-mail last Thursday within which a more detailed explanation would be given. I have yet to hear from the Chairman.
I would be grateful for your advice as to how I should proceed.
My initial thoughts relate to the damage this could do to my chances of gaining another Headship, and the financial losses I have incurred and will incur due to the Board's unexplained decision. Thank you.
Yours faithfully,
***** *****
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Jenny replied 2 years ago.
taratill :

Hello my name is ***** ***** I am happy to help you today. Is it the case that you think that someone has deliberately acted to sabotage your position by giving a statement which was inaccurate to the board?

Customer:

In a nutshell, yes. However, more importantly, I have been placed in a position where I no longer have the employment that was offered to me. It was a Headship for an independent school, and therefore is a private business - the sabotaging has led to the revoking of the offer and has led to loss of earnings as follows:

Customer:

Given that the IAPS Model Contract for Heads stipulates a notice period of two Terms, the financial loss (plus expenses and the cost of putting my home up for sale) is outlined as follows:

FINANCIAL LOSS

Loss of Pension Contributions (see Notes 1) £11439

Loss of income (see Notes 2 and 3) £40716

PLUS

Expenses (Two interviews – 14th October £1242

And 3rd November, 2nd to 4th December 2014:

2760 miles at 45p mile under HMRC rates)

Cost of preparations for House Sale £1562

(Home Report: £960

Solicitors’ Fees: £602)

TOTAL LOSS £54959


Customer:

Notes:



  1. Loss of Pension Contributions:


On the basis of £5084 pcm (£61,011 pa), 11% tax-free employee’s contribution plus the employer’s contribution of 14.1% equals 25.1%. This equals £1271 pcm.

Therefore £1271 x 9 months = £11,439



  1. Loss of income


£5084 pcm minus the 11% pension tax-free employee’s contribution = £4524 pcm

£4524 x 9 months (April to December 2015: two Terms) = £40716



  1. The figure of £40716 is presented as gross. I shall pay the tax direct to HMRC.


taratill :

Ok so I assume you resigned a position and suffered the above losses as a result of the offer of employment?

Customer:

I am completing a PhD in Education, and had secured the appointment ready for April this year.

Customer:

I have turned down interviews at four other schools and withdrew applications on the basis of the offer of employment.

taratill :

Ok thanks, ***** ***** sent a contract of employment by them and if so did it have a start date and notice period? Did it include an offer of relocation expenses?

Customer:

The Chairman had verbally agreed the payment of relocation expenses to a maximum of £3000. The contract was being prepared but had not been sent to me. I have the letter offering the appointment and noting that I had accepted the offer.

Customer:

With IAPS schools, the standard notice period is two School Terms.

taratill :

Ok unfortunately the position as regards ***** ***** who has retracted the offer is weak. The reason for this is that whenever an employee accepts an offer of employment they are put in a weak position by virtue of UK employment laws which offer virtually no protection unless a decision to retract or dismiss in the early days is for a discriminatory reason contrary to the Equality Act 2010, this does not seem to be the case here. The only possible claim against the prospective employer is in breach of contract but as the contract does not start until the employment starts , there is no 'contract' with regards ***** ***** employment itself that has breached. It is my view that unless you were told that the offer was provisional or subject to the receipt of satisfactory references, you may be able to argue that the agreement to pay relocation fees is a separate contractual (verbal arrangement) and in consideration of that offer you have suffered a loss which you can claim back from the employer. The other losses are not recoverable against the prospective employer but if you find out that the offer was retracted as a result of a fraudulent misrepresentation or negligent misstatement of another (who may be a former employer) you may have a cause of action against that person (organisation) for the other losses you have suffered.

Customer:

Therefore, if I know the identity of the person who has spread such misinformation, I may, as you say, "

if you find out that the offer was retracted as a result of a fraudulent misrepresentation or negligent misstatement of another (who may be a former employer) you may have a cause of action against that person (organisation) for the other losses you have suffered." ? In addition, can I claim the cost of putting the house on the market and the unpaid interview expenses from the school?

Customer:

I know the person's identity, and am awaiting confirmation from the Chairman...it is a former parent of the school, whose children I taught at another school

Customer:

If this misrepresentation could be proven, under what Act / statutes would this be covered in English and Scottlsh law?

taratill :

Where does the person who would be defending live?

Customer:

Scotland

taratill :

Ok and do you currently reside in Scotland or in England?

Customer:

Scotland

taratill :

ok then it would be under Scottish law even though the party to whom the respresention was made is in England.

Customer:

Any particular Acts or statutes that I need to talk to a solicitor about here?

Customer:

My references were all excellent

Customer:

I had spent time at the School in early December, meeting all parties including parents and children. The appointment was very much going ahead until the misrepresentation / misinformation, and the resulting strength of negative feeling that it caused amongst parents and teaching staff - the Board felt that the situation had become untenable from a business point of view. I am still waiting, six days, for confirmation of this in writing from the Chairman.

taratill :

You need to get the confirmation of the reason for the withdrawal from the employer. What is unclear is how did the parent find out you had applied to the school and did she contact parents as well as the school itself?

Customer:

The former parent has family at the school, and she contacted parents or a parent - she did not contact the school direct (I believe). Therefore, she has spread the information via parents who are family / friends

taratill :

Ok, well you do need to find out the reason. Once you have it visit a local solicitor for assistance with the claim. If you have household insurance it may contain legal expenses cover so that's worth a look.

Customer:

Would legal expenses under household insurance cover that? How does that work?

taratill :

You phone the insurer and tell them you have a legal problem. Subject to exclusions in your policy they will allocate a solicitor to you. Normally they have a cut off of something such as more than 50% chance of success.

Customer:

Thank you

taratill :

No problem all the best with this. Please do remember to rate my answer and do come back to me in the future if you want to.

Customer:

I will be unemployed at the end of January - would Legal Aid be an option?

taratill :

I'm not sure of the rules on that in Scotland I'm afraid.

Customer:

I am actually unemployed now - although neither registered as such or claiming benefits - as I am part-time with the University but I work 10 hours or more a day on my PhD

taratill :

You will need to check locally about the legal aid rules but I think it is unlikely.

Customer:

Okay. Thank you again.

taratill :

No problem. Please do take the time to rate my answer as I am not otherwise credited for my time. Many thanks and all the best.

Jenny, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 6305
Experience: Qualified Solicitor specialising in Employment Law and general legal matters. Please start your question For Jenny Only
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