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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: UK Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 44961
Experience:  Qualified Employment Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
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I was offered a compromise agreement as an alternative to dismissal

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I was offered a compromise agreement as an alternative to dismissal for gross misconduct. Whilst I dispute the charges, I was told during the without prejudice discussions not to bother with the disciplinary hearing because the company were determined to dismiss me. My solicitor sent me a draft agreement that he was happy for me to sign. However, before I could sign the agreement the company announced to all my (80+) colleagues that I no longer work for them. There are still things in the agreement I am unhappy with, but have been told I can take it or leave it, and if I don't sign it they will make public the gross misconduct allegations. Can you tell me please what is my employment status and what are my options? thank you

Ben Jones :

Hello, my name is XXXXX XXXXX it is my pleasure to be able to assist with your question today. Please let me know how long have you worked there for?

Customer:

Hi Ben. I've worked there for 15 years.

Ben Jones :

When you try to agree on a compromise agreement it is essentially down to you and the employer to agree on the terms which were in it and neither party has to sign it unless they were happy with it. That could unfortunately create a stalemate situation where neither party is happy with what has been agreed and refuse to sign it. That is their right however and if that is the case and no agreement is reached then the employer can then continue with any procedure they were involved in before the negotiations for the CA began.

So if you were the subject of a disciplinary procedure the employer can continue with that but as you are protected against unfair dismissal they would need to show that there was a fair reason for dismissing you and also that a fair procedure had been followed.


Misconduct is a common reason for taking disciplinary action and it is also a potentially fair reason for dismissal under the Employment Rights Act 1996. It could be a single act of serious misconduct or a series of less serious acts over a period of time.


 


In order to justify that dismissal on grounds of misconduct was fair, the law requires that the employer:



  • Carries out a reasonable investigation;

  • Follows a fair disciplinary procedure;

  • Has reasonable grounds for believing the employee was guilty; and

  • Show that dismissal was a reasonable decision that a reasonable employer would have taken in the circumstances.


    If there are any doubts or evidence that the above requirements have not been satisfied, an appeal can be submitted to the employer straight after the disciplinary outcome is communicated. If the appeal is rejected a claim for unfair dismissal can be made in the employment tribunal. The time limit to claim is 3 months from the date of dismissal



Customer:

Thanks. I am really wondering what my current employment status is now that the company has announced that I no longer work for them (and they were specific that 30th April was my last day). Can I assume I have effectively been dismissed?

Ben Jones :

you can do if it was made clear to you that you no longer worked for them and have not been required to do any work for them since the alleged dismissal date

Customer:

I've been suspended, and not had any communication from the company since the letter suspending me. Several of my colleagues contacted me yesterday to let me know what they had been told by the Director in various special meetings called to inform the staff team. Do you think that is sufficient grounds for me to bring an unfair dismissal claim?

Ben Jones :

have you been told directly that you have had your employment terminated?

Customer:

No.

Ben Jones :

I would be careful about this as you are relying on word of mouth at the moment and unless you have been told directly then hold off until you have more concrete proof

Customer:

That's understood. Thanks for your time.

Ben Jones :

My pleasure. Please take a second to leave a positive rating for the service I have provided you with as that is an important part of our process. Thank you

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