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Buachaill, Lawyer
Category: Republic of Ireland Law
Satisfied Customers: 10539
Experience:  Barrister 17 years experience
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I was issued a letter from my previous employer outlining that

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I was issued a letter from my previous employer outlining that there was an early retirement packgagae available from my company. They gave me 7 days to accept. If I didn't accept they wrote they would terminate my contract in any case and I would be on gardening leave within three weeks , with my 3 months contract notice paid and no access to a retirement package thereafter. They called it a 'no fault' termination as I was not in any disciplinary process. I had 33 years unblemished service at the time. It was part of a cost reduction/senior management change. I am aware I had a case to take to the employment appeals tribunal but if I did so the retirement package would not be available and I was afraid that there was a possibilty I wouldn't be re-instated. I relectantly took the offer as it gave me the most secure financial position, a lump sum and an annuity of 40% of my salary.

My question now post the event, has my employer blackmailed me? and if so what sort of case do I have?

Buachaill :

1. At the outset, the bank, your former employer, will not be taken in law to have "blackmailed" you. This is because each one of us is considered in law to be able to decide matters for ourselves and to be able to choose between the alternatives available to us. You were not without choices in the termination of employment situation and you choose an option which gave you more than your legal entitlements. As this is the case, ,you will definitely not be taken to have been "blackmailed"!! The law only guarantees you a minimum entitlement according to law. It does not guarantee you additional payments.

Buachaill :

2. The issue of the mortgage is a separate issue from that of your employment. If the structure offered by the bank is too onerous, you always have the option of bankruptcy as secured debt, such as mortgage debt forms part of the bankruptcy process in Ireland. As such you can extract better terms in a bankruptcy if the bank is playing too much "hardball" with you. Alternatively, if you believe there is some element of badwill involved with the bank, then consider moving the debt to a different bank. Under legislation in Ireland, there must be free transferability of a mortgage between financial institutions, without any transfer fees. Accordingly, if you believe you might be better off with a different bank, then simply have the mortgage transferred to a different financial institution. As you are of senior age, a solution involving the debt term being extended over a period longer than your working life may be possible if ultimately the financial institution concerned can obtain payment from the ultimate sale of the property or the taking on of the mortgage you a future generation. As you probably have friends working in a different financial institution, you can most likely speak with someone in advance so your situation is treated favourably.

Buachaill :

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