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Jenny
Jenny, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 6307
Experience:  Qualified Solicitor specialising in Employment Law and general legal matters. Please start your question For Jenny Only
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I handed in my notice to my firm of solicitors on 1st October

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I handed in my notice to my firm of solicitors on 1st October 2015. I am a conveyancing paralegal. I joined the firm under TUPE so i have been with them for five years but with continued service for 15. The firm had relatively no business in respect of residential conveyancing and i built up the practice with all my contacts. All my contacts were my own prior to joining the firm..
I had been complaining to a partner that i was not happy about the way things had been going for around 6 or 7 months. There were staffing issues, no support at the office where i was based and and I was effectively running the office on my own which was a very busy office. . Later that day i was asked to leave the office now.. At the door i was told i was on garden leave. However on 19th october 2015 almost three weeks after i was put on garden leave i attended a discipline hearing at my office as a result of "gross misconduct". my gross misconduct was that i sent an email to my contacts and advised them that i was leaving the firm and that if they wished to continue using my services they would need to contact my previous employers and let them know.. Following the "hearing" and I use the term loosely - the partners decided that gross misconduct had occurred and that no further action would be taken. I received my salary for the month but not my bonus payment which is due to me. I have now had an email from my previous employer advising that i wont be receiving any money from them re my bonus .. the email is annexed.
I write with regard to your recent requests for payment of your bonus which you think you are due.
Initially it was agreed that your bonus would be paid quarterly. It was then agreed, at your request, that you would be paid on a 6 monthly basis - in January for the preceding July to December period, and in July for the preceding January to June period. There was no provision or arrangement for payment to be made on any other date, or at any other time.
You handed in your notice on Thursday 1st October, 2015. As a result of your actings, you were immediately placed on garden leave. Following a disciplinary hearing on 19th October, 2015 you were found to have breached the duty of trust which existed between you and the firm. You have received payment of all sums due to you up until the date of termination of your employment.
In the circumstances, we are advised that you are not entitled to any payment in respect of your bonus. The firm does not intend to make any such payment, there being no liability on us to do so.
I will be sending out to you by post your P45, together with your October, 2015 payslip.
For the sake of completeness, and the avoidance of any doubt, I would also take this opportunity to advise that, since 1st October, 2015, a number of issues have arisen in relation to transactions and files on which you were working or had worked. Attempts have been made to resolve these issues to the satisfaction of the clients but it remains to be seen whether that is, or will be, possible. I am putting you on notice that the firm is reserving all rights which it has against you to seek compensation/redress from you with regard to any losses which it incurs/has incurred as a result of your actings.
What advice can you give me.
Thanks
Lesley
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Jenny replied 1 year ago.
Hello my name is ***** ***** I am nappy to help you today.
Are you asking whether you are entitled to receive the bonus?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Yes I am.I am also totally surprised that they intend to pursue me for any losses which the firm incurs as a result of my actions.. I am not quite sure what they mean by this .. They say there are a few issues with files. I would be totally shocked by this.. Can they do this? I made this firm a lot of money over the last five years. All I did was leave because of bully and harrasment by another partner in the firm... it was becoming unbearable.. I had no support whatsoever in the office and was inundated with work. I cannot believe that the firm are taking this route over £2000. It was agreed with the partners at the time that I would receive 5% of any fees which I brought to the firm. yes it was agreed that I would receive this six monthly as this was my choice. However does that mean that I shouldnt receive what is due to me because I leave the firm in October when my bonus is due in December. I look forward to hering from you.thanks Lesley
Expert:  Jenny replied 1 year ago.
Does your contract of employment say anything about bonuses not being payable on termination for any reason?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
No it does not... Five members of staff have left since march this year because of ongoing problems. one of them is going to pursue the firm as a result of this. I had no option but leave the firm as a result of what was going on. I was suffering from stress, exhaustion and generally unwell as a result of it all.
Expert:  Jenny replied 1 year ago.
Ok I think you are saying you have another job to go for to, is that correct?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
yes i do.. as i say i handed my notice in on 1st october .. i started my new job on 2nd November 2015
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I annexe a copy of a memoI am currently employed by T.J & W.A. Dykes, Solicitor,***** Hamilton as a paralegal.I have been with the firm for almost 5 years. I came to the firm through Tupe. The man i worked for decided to retire an Dykes wanted to employ me as I had a good client base which i had built up over the years On that basis thererfore my time with the previous firm tranferred to Dykes - making it 15 yrs.On or around March 2015 I spoke with one of the partners, Keith Mackenzie in the firm regarding emails I was receiving from another partner in the firm - which emails were harrassing in that she was picking up on silly mistakes - as in typing errors in internal debit and credit entries and money laudering documents. This was on a constant basis. Nothing was done about it and i spoke with Mr Mackenie four or five times about this matter againI was basically running the Hamiton office as there was no partner or solictor in attendance at this office since the partner who was resident there retired in March 2015. I had no partner support or secretarial support of any kind and I was extremely busy with clients, workload, administration. I was doing everything on my own - which was acknowledged by another Partner Iain Dunn.Following a partners meeting in August I had a meeting with Iain Dunn and Kathleen McArthur who advised that they were aware that I was dealing with verything on my own and had made the partner - who i was complaining about aware of this . The emails did stop but a solicitor whom they employed to cover family law at the office in Hamilton advised me that this partner - the one who I had made several complaints about did not like me and intended to harrass me so that I would leave the firm and they would retain my client base. She had advised me of this several times and that an add had gone into S1jobs for a conveyancing solictor. I spoke again with Mr Mackenzie re this and he advised me that Rosina Dolan - the partner i had made the complaint about didnt like anyone so i was not being singled out. I advised him that I was the one being singled out.. and that it was evident that she had some sort of problem with me - why I dont know as I had no dealings with her at all. Five employees have left the firm since march as a result of all the goings on and it was becoming unbareable to work there. I was suffering from stress was not sleeping and generally very unwell as a resultI had a meeting with Kathleen McArthur and Iain Dunn - two of the partners on the morning of 1st October 2015 at 10a.mI advised that that as a result of all that transpired I could no longer work there and gave them 4 weeks notice. I advised that as I had still had holiday time due to me I would finish my employment with them on 23rd October 2015. They asked if there was anything they could do to change my mind and I advised them no it had gone too far for that. They accepted my notice.I emailed my contacts at around 11a.m that morning to advise that I had handed in my notice and that I was going to another firm of solicitors and that if they "wished" to come with me they would require to sign a mandate to dykes to that effectAt 3.15 that afternoon - Keith Mackenzie came into my office and advised "your out of here now"... I told him ok. It was then that he said he should get Kathleen McArthur in the room to clarify things. All he said was give me your keys - which I did. He then asked me for passwords for the system - which I did. He then advised that I would be paid what I was entitled to. I am due to receive 5% of any fees under deduction of tax etc together with my salary and any holiday pay.I was litterally frog marched from the office and at the reception he advised I was on garden leave. He then advised that the locks be changed to the premises. There was no need for that i would not enter the subjects without prior consent. He advised that i had to make an appointment with them to uplift my personal stuff. I have not yet done this as i am totally shocked at the way thy have behaved towards me.On 15th October 2015 I received a letter from the firm asking me to attend a disciplinary hearing on the 19th October 2015 at 2p.m. and that I must respond to them by 12 noon today. I sent them an email advising that I would be seeking legal advice on this and that given the time scales I would not be able to attend the hearing on monday 19th October until such time as I had done thisI should be obliged if you would provide me with some information as to where I go next with this. I had no option but to leave the firm as a result of all that transpired and I would wish to take that matter furtherI look forward to hearing from you with any advice that you can give me in this regard.One of the other employees who left the practice is going to contact you also as she was forced to leave the office
Expert:  Jenny replied 1 year ago.
Ok thanks, ***** ***** bring a claim in the Employment Tribunal for Unlawful Deduction from Wages, as your employer is not entitled to retain your bonus unless then contract specifically allows for it.
You will need first to lodge early conciliation with ACAS (you will find details at www.acas.org.uk). If conciliation is unsuccessful you can then lodge a claim at www.employmenttribunals.gov.uk.
As regards ***** ***** threats, I think this is to put you off trying to claim the bonus. It is very unlikely that they could raise a claim against you for 'issues on your files'. For a start if there are issues, they are protected by the firm's indemnity insurance (except for an excess). However to pursue you for the excess there would have to be a contractual right (unlikely) and they would have to demonstrate you have done something in breach of your employment contract.
If you have any further questions please do ask. If I have answered your question I would be grateful if you would take the time to rate my answer. Thank you and all the best.
Expert:  Jenny replied 1 year ago.
Hello is there anything further you would like to know? I can see you have not yet rated my answer which is an important part of the process.
Jenny, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 6307
Experience: Qualified Solicitor specialising in Employment Law and general legal matters. Please start your question For Jenny Only
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