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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, Solicitor
Category: UK Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 38523
Experience:  Expert in UK Employment Law
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I needed advice regarding a meeting at work that Ive been

Customer Question

I needed advice regarding a meeting at work that I’ve been requested to attend next week with the head of the department. I have not been told specifics of the meeting but per my line manager is to discuss if I like to accept another role in the team or to discuss a package to leave.

I have submitted a claim to the Employment Tribunal regarding the mistreatments at work that I have been receiving recently. The claim was submitted on 12 June and I received a letter from Tribunal dated 14 June that a request has been sent to the employer for their reply and they have 28 days to respond i.e. until 12th July to reply. Plus ACAS have sent me a letter too that once they receive a copy of the employer response then they will in touch regarding conciliation.

The claim is for Disability discrimination, Victimisation and uplift in any compensation failure by employer to comply with the ACAS Statutory Code 1. I used a solicitor for this claim.

In addition, since 11 March13 I raised a formal grievance with the employer regarding these mistreatments and have a final appeal due on the day after the above meeting request. I have had a formal grievance meeting end of May where all of my points were rejected so I appealed on the decision.

My ideal situation is to leave the company now as I feel bitter and do think that now my future prospects within the company are extremely limited. But I would like a compensation before leaving. Also, my job role has been taken away and transferred to another office and so they may offer of another role.

How should I handle the meeting next week to discuss my situation at work. I don’t want to accept another role if that affects my tribunal claim or chances of compensation or is this a tactic from the employer to avoid Tribunal or a compensation. Also, how should I discuss a compensation amount if asked.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: UK Employment Law
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.

Ben Jones :

Hello, my name is XXXXX XXXXX it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today.
Before proceeding please note that as I am a practising solicitor, I am often in and out of meetings, travelling between clients or even at court when I pick your question up. This may even occur at weekends. Therefore, I apologise in advance but there may be a delay in getting back to you and providing my advice. Please be patient and I will respond as soon as I can. You do not have to wait here and you will receive an email when I have responded. For now please let me know how long you have worked there.

Customer:

Hi Ben, glad it's you as I've taken your advice on employment many times plus the formal grievance I raised in March13 was after advice from yourself so you may recall a bit. I've been with the employer since May 2001.

Ben Jones :

If there are details from them which can identify you then you can argue that it amounts to personal data under the Data Protection Act and ask for a copy. You do this by contacting the school and telling them you are making a subject access request and that you request copies of these documents.


 


I would be grateful if you could please take a second to leave a positive rating - your question will not close and I can continue providing further advice if necessary. Thank you

Ben Jones :

sorry please ignore the above, that was meant for someone else.

Ben Jones :

Going back to your question, when you attend the meeting you just have to be frank with the employer in relation to what you wish to get out of this and what you would be happy to accept. There is no point 'beating around the bush' and you need to tell them directly - this is what I am unhappy with and this is how I see the situation being resolved. If you believe that you can no longer continue working there you will have to advise them that you believe the trust has broken down in your relationship.


 


Accepting another job will not damage your chances of tribunal for the existing claims because the events for which you are claiming have already occurred and cannot be changed.


 


In terms of compensation this can usually be difficult to establish because each situation will depend on its own circumstances. If a claim for discrimination is made, the usual remedy would be to award compensation for injury to feelings. This is calculated by considering the level of discrimination that the claimant has been subjected to. The discriminatory behaviour is assigned to one of three ‘bands’ known as Vento bands, named after a court case with that name. These bands are:



  • Lower band - for less serious cases, for example an isolated incident or event (£600 - £6,000)

  • Middle band - for serious cases which are not serious enough to fall within the highest band (£6,000 - £18,000)

  • Top band - for the most serious cases, for example if there has been a lengthy and calculated campaign of harassment/discrimination (£18,000 - £30,000)


 

Customer:

Sorry, just to continue as clicked enter above.

Customer:

I think I can meet / prove the 5 conditions of mental disability under equality act 2010, but for physical diasbility are the conditions the same or are they different ?

Ben Jones :

they are the same

Customer:

My mental disability is following the stress, anxiety & depression that I was diagnosed end of 2011 and am still dealing and learning to cope. In addition I had slipped disk and degenerative changes to lower spine mid 2012 and am still feeling the symptoms. Under equality act 2010, the issues of not being able to sit on chair for too long and having to get and walk a bit after an hour, not being able to stand for too long, not being able to run as feel the pain afterwards, not being able to pick and move heavy objects and constantly feeling the niggle etc, do these satisfy the condtions of physical disability under the equality act 2010 ? plus are the conditions same 5 for the mental disability ?

Ben Jones :

hi, the requirements to meet the definition of a 'disability', whether mental or physical, are the same

Customer:

Ben, just one final question please, after the tribunal decision, if the case goes there, can I carry on with the job and generally the employment with the company does not end at the decision point. Bearing in mind my case is on discrimination & victimisation and not on reinstatement of job. This is if we don't come to a settlelement now and the cose does go to tribunal plus I accept a new position now.

Ben Jones :

yes you can continue in the job if you wanted to. The relationship between you and the employer may have been damaged as a result of your claim but they cannot treat you less favourably because of that as it would again amount to victimisation. So if you are happy to continue in that job regardless of the outcome of the claim, you are free to do so

Customer:

Ben -thank you for the advice

Ben Jones :

You are welcome and all the best

Ben Jones, Solicitor
Satisfied Customers: 38523
Experience: Expert in UK Employment Law
Ben Jones and 5 other UK Employment Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Hi Ben, in case you wondering on the outcome, the meeting with the head of the department was disappointming. The head was about 30min late and just held the meeting for about 10min, and in summary said that he will let the internal grievance appeal and external tribunal take it's course but in the meanwhile has few new roles in mind where I could fit in as my current role / project is ending. He will come back to me shortly regarding further details of these roles.


 


This is bearing in mind that before the meeting the line manager said to me that he had discussed the purpose of this meeting with the department head and the meeting was to discuss the various options open for me i.e. if I would like a settlement to leave or accept another role. The line manager volunteered to listen to my thoughts before the meeting and give his unbiased opinion. He also advised to make sure I was well dressed for meeting, with a tie on and polished shoes etc. I came out of the meeting feeling fairly down and thinking if it was deliberately done this way i.e. build my hopes high and then let down. I had told the line manager that my preferred option would be to discuss an option to leave.


 


The day after I had the formal grievance appeal hearing and to be honest I think I could have performed better in there. I was already feeling a bit down from the day before and this time was made to feel a bit intimidated in the hearing i.e made to sit next to the appeal hearing manager with not much distance between us and turned to face each other, plus the HR person sitting next to the hearing manager kept on interrupting and suggesting and asking me to name names etc. I think some of the answers from me were no as good I think could have been. I am thinking of sending an email to say that that I’m not happy about the conduct of the meeting. No final decision was given but that they will investigate and reply in about 10 days time.


 


I think both meetings not too good. However, by the end of this week the company has to reply to the Tribunal regarding my complaint that I submitted and so a new process will open up.

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.
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Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Thank you for the reply.

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.
More than welcome

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