Well, it’s been a very stressful week for Ann. Still no reply from HR for her request to sit down with them and discuss her issues!
But what really stood out this week was Ann’s meeting with the Employment Law Barrister who she is working with via the Solicitor.
Whereas we thought we had an ‘open-and-shut’ case, the Barrister – being cautious – has reminded us that the ‘compromise agreement document’ in which the two redundancy amounts are laid out (statutory minimum and employer enhanced), is purely discretionary! This means that if, through our actions, we p***-off Ann’s employer in the last few weeks of her employment, they are perfectly within their rights to withdraw the document – and then bang goes the enhanced option – it literally becomes unavailable! – and we would be left with very little dosh – just the statutory minimum figure!!
Why would we p*** them off? Well, we wouldn’t directly, but if the Solicitor’s letter explaining our our issues to them, comes across as being too gung-ho and aggressive (because that’s the style we were originally advised to adopt), her employer will almost certainly exercise their rights to withdraw the compromise agreement document completely.
As an result of this, if we end up settling for the statutory minimum redundancy figure and fight the case at an Employment Tribunal, that could take ages (too stressful) and cost us a load of money (also too stressful). And, interestingly, our current Solicitor is NOT allowed to represent us at an ET, it has to be a Barrister (we didn’t realise that!) – so we’ll end up paying TWO people during the ‘fight’ process – a double-blow for the bank balance!
This is a real issue of principles, and maybe we’ll look back in years to come and it won’t feel like such a big thing; but currently it’s such a pivotal decision that we need to make. Either rolling-over-and-signing, (full amount of dosh, but values compromised) or fighting for what we know is rightfully Ann’s (expensive, time-consuming, but our values are left uncompromised).
Errr… this is really getting our grey-cells working overtime!!!
So, the Solicitor and Barrister have now constructed an appropriate letter with a few ideas for content from us. It’s assertive rather than aggressive (nice!) and sets out the concerns we have very clearly – it also reminds Ann’s employer of their obligations under the law.
In the next few days the letter will arrive at HR for their consideration – hopefully some actions/decisions by them will result. The letter suggests they get in touch with the Solicitor to resolve things.
It’s going to be an interesting penultimate week! Ooo-err missus!
…more information next week!!
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