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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 73949
Experience:  Qualified Employment Solicitor
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I am a HR Officer and feel that I am being performance

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I am a HR Officer and feel that I am being performance managed out of my job. I have been under a a performance plan due to inaccuracy errors on a piece of work. The concerns were raised at the end of a hr system workload meeting and this was the first time I was made aware of any concerns. They had already set the plan out and I was told this would be reviewed in 6 weeks. Following a review on Friday I was told that despite putting all the measures in place my inaccuracy had increased which I found hard to believe and was verbally told they were going to invite me to a formal capability mtg at some point this week. In addition the additional admin processes that have been implemented by my manager for my role in particular are unmanageable. Over the last 4 years I have regularly taken work home to complete in my own time to ensure everything gets done however stopped doing this as it was impacting on my health to a degree and my family and my new manager didn't feel it was necessary. Since doing this the role has become impossible to manage . I feel that the trust has been eroded and do not feel that I would receive any further support from my manager if I go through the hearing and stay in my position. I have thought about raising a grievance and claiming constructive dismissal however they have conducted a fair process and can produce evidence to back this up. I also know what conversations will have taken place in reaching this decision to instigate formal proceedings as I am currently involved in several similar cases myself at work. I have had no absence in the last 4.5 years I have been there until today. I don't feel I can continue in my role and for the sake of my mental and physical health which is now being affected I feel my only option would be to have a without prejudice discussion to exit via a settlement agreement requesting PILON, payment of outstanding leave currently 4.5 days accrued but untaken as of today an ex exgratia payment of 6 months pay and an agreed reference. I have 3 children to financially support and rent to pay so can't just resign without another role to go to and I feel that this would give me sufficient time to find another suitable position. I also have a second casual job with the same organisation under a different line manager which I feel I would also have to give up as I would see the same individuals which may make things awkward. Are you able to advise if what I am proposing is reasonable with regards ***** ***** exgratia payment and should I account for loss of pension contributions also. I am nearly 45 and my earnings in the last tax year amounted to approx 32k which included an element offurlough pay for my second role that I was unable to do due to covid restrictions and school closures. I feel an exit via a settlement agreement would be best for both parties rather than causing additional stress and upset for both parties by going through the grievance process and capability hearing. I am willing to prepare a handover document for my manager on all my cases and workload and clear down my remaining emails. If I am able to collect the laptop and work at home to do this as I feel it would be less awkward for the rest of the department and less stress for me if I did this from home.
JA: Have you discussed the forced resignation with a manager or HR? Or with a lawyer?
Customer: No not yet. I was going to do a without prejudice letter to my Head of HR. I haven't spoken to a lawyer yet.
JA: What is your employment status? Are you an employee, freelancer, consultant or contractor? Do you belong to a union?
Customer: I'm an employee and unfortunately I'm not in a union. I am member of the CIPD which I can contact and will be speaking to citizens advice and acas and am checking if my home insurance has legal cover.
JA: Is there anything else the Lawyer should know before I connect you? Rest assured that they'll be able to help you.
Customer: I don't think so.

Hello, I’m Ben. It’s my pleasure to assist you today. I may also ask for some preliminary information to help me determine the legal position.

Customer: replied 17 days ago.
that's fine.

What is your specific query in relation to this please, so that I can best advise?

Customer: replied 17 days ago.
Hi Ben I'd like to continue online if that's ok for now.

The pop-up offering you the chance to request a phone call is automatically generated by the site and you have already paid for a written response so that is the part I will continue helping you with as soon as you can tell me what your specific query is in relation to this

Customer: replied 17 days ago.
I feel that I am being performance managed out of my role which has led to verbally being told I am going to be invited to attend a formal capability meeting this week. If I fight it through raising a grievance as I feel the workload is unmanageable and going forward there is no trust between my manager and myself going forward if I stay. I am being micromanged and it's starting to affect my health both physically and mentally. I've had no absence since I started their nearly 5 yrs ago and with working in the HR Department and on similar cases myself I am aware of the likely conversations that will have taken place and this is being used a legal way and fair process on their part to leave me no option to leave or be dismissed as not being capable to do my job.

OK I understand and thank you for providing this information. Please do not worry and leave it with me for now; I will get back to you with my answer as soon as I can which will be at some point today. The system will notify you when this happens. Please do not reply in the meantime as this may unnecessarily delay my response. Many thanks.

Customer: replied 17 days ago.
I have drafted a without prejudice letter to enter into discussions to leave under a settlement agreement as this is how they usually deal with such matters. I am proposing this instead of going through formal capability proceedings as I will find this highly stressful and embarrassing as I have very good working relationships and am highly respected by the senior management team, one of which will be asked to chair the hearing. It would also save any additional stress and work for the department which is already struggling with workload issues. I am proposing to request my PILON, outstanding payment of hols which amounts to 4.5 days as of today plus an exgratia payment of 6 months salary to enable me to find another role and continue to support my 3 children and keep my home. I would also like an agreed reference. Does this sound like a reasonable starting point as I know they will try and negotiate this down?

Many thanks for your patience, I am pleased to be able to continue assisting with your query now. First of all, I am sorry to hear about the issues you have experienced in your situation.

The offer you have proposed is indeed reasonable and I do not see it as being overly demanding or unreasonable in the circumstances. However, if that is what you would ideally like to leave with, you may wish to consider starting slightly above that to pre-empt any negotiations by the employer to bring it down. So perhaps start at 9 months pay, with the expectation that it will be negotiated down where you hopefully end up agreeing on 6 months or so.

The issue is that whatever you end up with is something that will have to be agreed between you and the employer and neither party can be forced into it, so some compromises will have to happen on both sides.

The reason an employer will want to enter into a settlement agreement is to avoid the likelihood of a legal claim and the associated time, costs and resources and potential payout so the more you make it clear that it is where it will end up if no agreement is reached, the more chances you have of agreeing something sensible with them.

Hopefully, I have answered your query in a way that is simple and easy to understand. If anything remains unclear, I will be more than happy to clarify it for you. In the meantime, thank you once again for using our services.

Customer: replied 16 days ago.
That's great thank you Ben. I have prepared a without prejudice letter and will send this later today.

You are most welcome. If you have any further questions about this then please do not hesitate to get back to me and I will be glad to help. All the best

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