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taratill, Solicitor
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 6464
Experience:  15 years experience of advising on employment law matters
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Good Evening, I have been in my current employment for

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Good Evening,
I have been in my current employment for 13 years and have a clean employment record. 2 1/2 years ago I signed a lease hire agreement adding a printer to a lease, I have a statement from the representative of the printer firm stating I could only have signed this with their firm first obtaining Partner consent that I could sign this as IT Manager. Although all Partners were in on this day, it is my firm belief that I would have called one of them who is no longer with the firm whilst they were all in a meeting together to request one of their signatures. It is also my belief I would have only signed this with one of their approval.
My old boss, who I was also PA for has since left the firm under a 'cloud' and it was he who I firmly believed gave authorisation, but he has said he cannot remember. Although, has also said to the Partner still there that he wouldn't have, although he had a tendency of not listening and saying anything to get rid of employees if engrossed in work.
I was told back in May that the Managing Partner was upset I had signed this document, but she had checked legally and I was okay. Then the route taken was to go to the lease hire company and say that I was not authorised to sign the document. They unsurprisingly came back and said that we've used the device for 2 1/2 years and then surprisingly said that if I had done this without anyone's knowledge they would seek payment from me personally and the company.
This is when I received notification that I was being accused of Gross Misconduct. I had two days to prepare evidence and we have had two hearings and now a Without Prejudice meeting. I spoke to ACAS who asked if I had sought legal advice on the Agreement. I said that I had not received an Agreement. I went back to my employer whilst on annual leave and asked for an agreement to be drafted so I could seek legal representation. This document arrived whilst I was away and my leaving date states 5/9/2014. I do not feel I have been given any fair amount of time to seek legal help especially not the 10 calendar days ACAS advise.
I went to work today and my employer was not there. I'm not sure what to do as it states it needs to be signed by 10/09/2014.
The whole proceedings were investigated without my knowledge, heard and the decision will be the same person. I expressed my concern as I don't feel this was fair and told it was to protect my welfare. I personally don't care who at work knows about this as none of it stacks up and feels now like my employer just wants to get rid to save face.
I've also found out they are suffering cash flow problems, so am concerned that although they have paid more in legal fees then they are offering me, that I may not get the money they have offered.
I should be grateful for any advice that may be forthcoming.
taratill : Hello my name is ***** ***** I am happy to help you today. Do you have any specific questions about this?
Customer: Should I sign this document! It's dated in the past. I have had no chance of legal representation.
taratill :

Is it a settlement agreement you are being asked to sign?

Customer: Yes, a Settlement Agreement. Received after the last date of employment is stated.
taratill :

Hi can you tell me whether they have said what will happen if you do not enter this agreement?

Customer: They will continue Disciplinary proceedings.
taratill :

Ok so are you working at the moment or suspended?

Customer: Working still.
taratill :

In terms of number of month's pay what is the financial value of the sum you have been offered?

Customer: £5,000 which is 3 months pay
taratill :

Ok to be honest that is not a fantastic settlement offer as it seems that you have grounds to bring an unfair dismissal claim if you are dismissed as a result of this. In order to be legally binding a settlement offer needs to be signed off by a solicitor at the expense of the employer. If you think you may want to settle rather than to bring a claim then it is probably worth asking your employer to redate the agreement and to agree to pay your legal costs in connection with receiving legal advice under the agreement. You will then make an appointment with a solicitor who will advise you whether the amount offered is a good deal bearing in mind the risks attached to claiming and the length of time it is lkely to take for you to find alternative work.

taratill :

The document should be amended to reflect the real date of termination, not a date that has already passed.

taratill :

So in essence I would ask your employer to confirm that they will pay for legal advice in connection with signing the agreement and if they say they will you can should take advantage of that.

taratill :

Hopefully you will be able then to find a settlement that is fair.

taratill :

If you have any further questions about this 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.

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