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Hi I left my employer last year under a compromise agreement.

Hi I left my employer last...
Hi
I left my employer last year under a compromise agreement.
They haven't paid all due agreed monies, saying that they made a mistake in their calculations, and they haven't returned to me or my solicitor a signed copy of the compromise agreement (I signed and returned, they haven't signed and returned). I'm pursuing them through an Employment Tribunal, but they are now threatening me with costs.
Would you recommend I continue to pursue, and should their mistake at calculating SMP fall in my favour? Does the fact they haven't returned a signed copy of the CA change anything?
Many thanks.
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Answered in 2 minutes by:
1/4/2013
Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: UK Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 50,154
Experience: Qualified Employment Solicitor
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Ben Jones :

Hello and thank you for your question, which I will be happy to assist you with. Please let me know if you mean that the final version of the CA was never signed by them?

Customer: Hi.
Customer: Correct. Neither I or my solicitor hand received a signed final copy from the company.
Customer: Sorry, typo... Neither I or my solicitor HAVE received a final copy ...
Ben Jones :

were the negotiations done via ACAS?

Customer: No, through a solicitor. ACAS. Have only been involved since I submitted an ET1 to tribunal.
Ben Jones :

Was there a clause in the CA that stated it was subject to contract and without prejudice?

Customer: Yes, that's right at the top.
Ben Jones :

If that is the case then it is most likely that the CA was not actually legally binding because no formal contract had been entered into. Usually both parties would have to signify their acceptance of the CA by signing it and returning it to the other party. If that was not done then the other party would have a reasonable argument that the CA was never accepted and it never came to be enforceable.

Customer: That seems very weasily! Is this a common tactic; it seems to go against the spirit of the intended outcome of a compromise agreement. That also means then that the companies agreement to provide a good reference is also negated. Would an ET probably throw this claim out then?
Ben Jones :

IS the current claim the original one?

Customer: If I understand your question, then yes, after we attempted unsuccessfully to get a signed copy and full payment, we went to ET as we could not afford to pay the solicitor to chase any more.
Ben Jones :

What costs are they threatening you with - what is their reasoning?

Customer: That we will have to pay their legal costs in defending; that our claim is unreasonable and misconceived. They have referenced the compromise agreement, but say that they have paid everything due "under that agreement and by law". This seems factually wrong given that they acknowledge the incorrect calculation.
Ben Jones :

are you legally represented?

Customer: No, as I said, we can't afford to continue to use the solicitor...
Ben Jones :

A tribunal will rarely make a costs order against an unrepresented claimant, especially if they reasonably believed that they have a valid claim and did not pursue something that evidently had no prospects of success or they clearly wasted the tribunal's time. So just because you have been threatened does not mean that you will be ordered to pay any costs, although the risk of that happening may become more evident as the claim progresses

Customer: Ok , thank you.
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

Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: UK Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 50,154
Experience: Qualified Employment Solicitor
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