How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site. Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Ben Jones Your Own Question
Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 50487
Experience:  Qualified Employment Solicitor
Type Your Employment Law Question Here...
Ben Jones is online now

My employer has offered me a COT3 ACAS conciliation. In

Customer Question

My employer has offered me a COT3 ACAS conciliation. In return for dropping my grievance / potential tribunal, + agreeing to full confidentiality, they will protect a factual reference for me.My grievance relates to being signed off work with work-related stress for 3months. Leading up to this working time directives were breached and the company showed me a lack of duty of care, forcing me to work an unmanageable workload.I am also about to take part in an investigation into stock and cash loss at the business I work at, as deputy manager. This is quite likely to end in dismissal.My question is - is there any point signing the ACAS agreement? The reference the company provides simply states job position, start and end dates. Not reason for leaving. So I don't see what I have to gain by signing it. As far as I can see the reference they are giving me is the exact same reason I would get if I was terminated.I don't want my future employment opportunities to be affected.Any advise would be greatly appreciated - I am supposed to call back ACAS today to discuss the terms.I am considering asking for
Submitted: 6 months ago.
Category: Employment Law
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 6 months ago.

Hello, my name is***** am a qualified lawyer and I will be assisting you with your question today.

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 6 months ago.

What is the claim you are potentially thinking of making?

Customer: replied 6 months ago.
Hi Ben,The claim would be for mistreatment at work. I was forced to work too many hours, I suffered stress and stress related illness and no steps were taken to help or support me. Since then I feel I am being forced out. My grievance was lodged 3months ago and still no outcome
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 6 months ago.

Thank you. Whilst no such claim exists, I presume you were considering resigning and perhaps making a constructive dismissal claim?

Customer: replied 6 months ago.
I am considering that Ben
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 6 months ago.

How long have you worked there for?

Customer: replied 6 months ago.
3 years
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 6 months ago.

Thank you. Whilst the standard reference the company provides is a basic one, they do have the option of adding more information if needed and there is nothing stopping them from doing that. So what could potentially happen is that you refuse to agree to the ACAS settlement, you get dismissed and then a reference mentions that fact and also the reasons for dismissal. This could have a negative impact on your future employment prospects.

On the other hand, if you did agree the settlement with ACAS, you would have a guaranteed basic reference which would omit any mention of a potential dismissal. So there is an incentive to agree to that on the basis that at least you would know with certainty what reference you would get. You may also decide to resign before you are dismissed, but the employer could then still decide to mention that you had left whilst under investigation for misconduct and that could also have a negative impact in the future.

I trust this has answered your query. Please take a second to leave a positive rating by selecting 3, 4 or 5 stars above - this is an important part of our process and recognises the time I have spent assisting you. If you still need me to clarify anything else, please reply on here and I will assist as best as I can. Thank you

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 6 months ago.

Hello, I see you have read my response to your query. Could you please let me know if it has answered your original question? You can either reply on here with a quick ‘Yes, thanks’, or select 3, 4 or 5 stars on this page. I can still answer follow up questions if needed to clarify anything for you. Many thanks

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 6 months ago.

Hello, not sure if you are having trouble seeing my posts? Do you need any further assistance or are you happy with the response to your query? I look forward to hearing from you. Thanks