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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 70448
Experience:  Qualified Solicitor
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I was unfairly dismissed from work however, there isn’t much

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I was unfairly dismissed from work however, there isn’t much I can do as I haven’t been with the company for two years. They had however, taken money from my wages which they shouldn’t have and have agreed to pay this back. Their solicitor has sent a COT3 agreement which is pretty fair however, have refused to make changes to clause 7, making the agreement very one sided. This section states that basically I do not cause any damage to the company reputation through their staff etc. I have asked that this is to work both ways in regards ***** ***** good character. They have said they will not amend this.
JA: Have you discussed the termination with a manager or HR? Or with a lawyer?
Customer: This has gone through a disciplinary process back in June and I only have ACAS as my support however, I’m not finding this very useful
JA: What is your employment status? Are you an employee, freelancer, consultant or contractor? Do you belong to a union?
Customer: I am an employee and no, I’m not part of a union unfortunately
JA: Anything else you want the Lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: Other that the company are still trying to find out what it is I do now, and have been taking screen shots of my employment status and sending to their solicitor. I fear that if the clause is not amended then it leaves it open for them to continue to target me. They dismissed me for informing a staff member that I was unable to photocopy their certificates as their file had been moved to another location, they stated I breached confidentiality. I was in a management position and had authorisation to copy such documents

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.

What do you specifically want to know about this, please? Please note this is not always an instant service and I may not be able to reply immediately. However, rest assured that I am dealing with your question and will get back to you today. Thanks

Customer: replied 17 days ago.
I just feel that my ex employees agreement as devised by their solicitor is very much one sided. I have agreed to all in the agreement however, I’ve asked that clause 7 is amended. It stated that as the claimant, I agree not to damage their deputy as a company, badmouth to staff etc. I’ve asked that the respondent agrees not to do the same and to amend to state that, they have declined saying they won’t. They are now making out I was an unprofessional person and claiming I have unfinished work etc. I’ve never had one negative supervision and was very highly respected by management. I was dismissed for breach of confidentiality because I disclosed to a staff member the whereabouts of their file after they asked me to print their certificates, I explained I couldn’t because the file was no longer on site

Thank you. You are not obliged to accept their agreement and if you do not agree with it then you can simply continue with making your claim, rather than agreeing on a settlement now. The COT3 is the ‘easy way out’ in a sense that it settles the claim without the need for formal legal action, but it can mean that additional terms are introduced, such as the one under dispute here. Therefore, whilst you can negotiate over the contents of the agreement, if no amicable resolution can be reached, you can decide against settling now and proceed with pursuing what you are owed by making a formal claim.

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 17 days ago.
They have agreed to pay me back monies that they had taken due to them signing a disclaimer with the college (all evidence presented to them) I’m happy to take that but does that mean I am still expected to sign the agreement? I’m happy to take my money and walk away, I’m not too sure I want to sign the agreement at all because they are stating that if any other person discusses my dismissal I would be held liable and in breach of the agreement, that in itself is a risk, I can’t guarantee that this isn’t discussed.

At this stage they can make the payment of the money you are owed conditional on you signing that agreement. If you are not happy to do so then as mentioned you will need to proceed with the claim and if you win then they will be ordered to pay it without any strings attached.

Customer: replied 16 days ago.
Thank you that’s helpful. I think I will continue with the claim. My only other last concern is, back in February whilst I was still employed by the company I have grievance, I was asked to consider joining a new team/business (same industry) I was hesitant and unsure but after weeks of conversation I agree to consider joining them early 2021. The new company then asked if I would like to become a director once I was secure in my management role when and if I still choose to join them. I was thrilled at the opportunity and agreed. They listed me as a director In April 2020 whilst I was still employed with the company I have issues. They have found this information on companies house and have forwarded to their solicitor. I am worried they use this against me. I was dismissed from the company in June 2020 and still do date despite being listed as director, have not started working for the new company, I have no contract, I’ve had no involvement and have made no money from it. The company is still in the process of becoming established and is in the process of planning.

Thank you. Did you have any contractual restrictions preventing that?

Customer: replied 16 days ago.
Only thing I can find states that if I receive an offer to be directly or indirectly involved in any capacity with another business I must within two weeks give the person (whether natural or legal) making the offer a copy of this clause and inform the employer of their identity within two weeks of accepting the offer.
I have not yet secured a role with the new company, have not completed any work on their behalf or received and monies. They simply listed me as director to reassure me and commit to me securing a role with them once they are up and running, my role within the management team has yet to be agreed and no contracts have been issued

Ok thanks, ***** ***** would be that you are not in any way involved with this new company, apart from them registering you as a director for the future. But there is no contract in place, you are not doing any work for them and you should argue that any restrictions would only apply once you start working for them.

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