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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 66572
Experience:  Qualified Employment Solicitor
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I have been signed off work for 2 weeks and now a further 5

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Hi, I have been signed off work for 2 weeks and now a further 5 weeks. The reason is exhaustion caused by three years of working a minimum 50 hour week, no manager, no training and a lot more. I do not wish to return and I am currently looking to secure alternative employment. I believe I have a good case for a settlement but in all honesty all I want is a good reference with no mention of this period which has been created by my employment. I wish to consult a Solicitor but believe they would only involve themselves only where there is a claim - help! Thanks
Assistant: Have you discussed this with a manager or HR? Or with a lawyer?
Customer: I literally had a melt down on the 13/11/2019 and came home and have been signed off ever since. I have only had a line manager for 8 months at which point I think the damage had been done to my mental health and the fact that I had to support get on top of all else made it worse. We have spoken about the environment which I referred to as toxic
Assistant: What is your employment status? Are you an employee, freelancer, consultant or contractor? Do you belong to a union?
Customer: Employed -no union
Assistant: Anything else you want the Lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: No

Hello, I’m Ben, a UK lawyer and will be dealing with your case today. I may also need to ask some questions to determine the legal position.

How long have you worked there for?

Customer: replied 6 months ago.
3 years

Thank you. And please confirm what do you specifically want to know about this, please?

Hello, I am not sure if you saw my query above: please confirm what do you specifically want to know about this, please?

Customer: replied 5 months ago.
I just want to know my rights as in I have been signed off with occupational stress and as it is a result of my current employer can I ask that they refrain from detailing it on my reference as o do not wish for my future employers to be made aware. Thanks

Thank you. Whilst you cannot force the employer to exclude this from a reference, you can try to come to an arrangement that they do so and you would not take things further, such as by resigning and making a claim for constructive dismissal. In fact there is a possible alternative solution, where the employer is approached on a 'without prejudice' basis (i.e. off the record) to try and discuss the possibility of leaving under a settlement agreement. Under such an agreement, the employee gets compensated for leaving the company with no fuss and in return promises not to make any claims against the employer in the future. It is essentially a clean break, where both parties move on without the need for going to tribunal. However, it is an entirely voluntary process and the employer does not have to participate in such negotiations or agree to anything. It just means that these discussions cannot be brought up in any subsequent tribunal claim and prejudice either party. So there is nothing to lose by raising this possibility with the employer as the worst outcome is they say no, whereas if successful it can mean being allowed to leave in accordance with any pre-agreed terms, such as with compensation and an agreed reference.

Does this answer your query?

Customer: replied 5 months ago.
Thank you - would a solicitor approach my employer ‘without prejudice’ or would I go this myself? Is it a normal part of a Solicitors role to do this on an employees behalf?

you would do it yourself. If you wanted to you can engage a solicitor to do this on your behalf but you will be paying them quite a bit of money to do something you can easily do yourself.

Customer: replied 5 months ago.
Many thanks Ben - you have confirmed all I require. Very much appreciated.

All the best

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