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As always with these matters - very very complicated background

but I have a case...
As always with these matters - very very complicated background but I have a case where an employee is suspended in an organisation owned by its members, the general manager has an outstanding grievance with the members the employee did breach data protection policy but was probably co-erced by other members. She is now signed off with stress as a result of the situation, the committee that normally run the club have all stepped down following a vote of no confidence and I'm the HR consultant that has been asked to assist the general manager to deal with it, so far despite a plea to the former chairman no-one wants to assist or be accountable with it. I hope to see the trustees tomorrow but it has all got so complicated - has anyone dealt with anything similar or have any advice for me? Also i have no idea how this works so if my suggested payment is unrealistic please tell me!
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Answered in 6 minutes by:
7/23/2013
Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: UK Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 48,783
Experience: Qualified Employment Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
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Ben Jones :

Hello, my name is XXXXX XXXXX it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today. What do you specifically wish to know about this situation, do you have any specific questions you want me to deal with?

Customer:

I'm concerned that the situation is becoming completely unmanageable for me as a consultant i have been instructed by a mgt committee that has stepped down following a vote of no confidence from members advising a manager who has his own outstanding grievance - it seems clear that neither can work together - what i need is someone above the general manager to step in and deal with both employees but as they are all voluntary no one in willing to. I am going to be forced to wash my hands and step away from them, what can i do to walk away now whilst insuring i am not compromising my own professional reputation or putting myself in the firing line - I am an independant HR consultant.

Ben Jones :

Do you have an ongoing agreement with them?

Customer:

I have an email from the previous

Customer:

chairman instructing me to assist the general manager with the potential disciplinary

Customer:

to provide HR advice and support.

Customer:

I have been paid for June's invoice

Customer:

I do not have a signed provision of service document

Ben Jones :

If an employee resigns they may still be entitled to a bonus, depending on the terms of the bonus scheme. It is common for an employer to state that , in order to be eligible for the bonus, the employee must remain in employment on the payment date or not be under notice of termination. Generally, a court would like to be convinced that the employee was made fully aware of such provisions before tendering their resignation. It is then clearly for the employee to time his resignation sensibly.


 


As an example, there are a few cases known better as the Noble Enterprises case where the employer claimed that the employee was not entitled to a bonus in respect of the previous year when he resigned and left just a few days before the payment date. The tribunal found that the bonus scheme, which was not recorded in writing, was imprecise and the specific clause which dealt with the requirement to be in employment at the time of payment had not been made clear. Therefore, the tribunal decided that had the employee been made aware of this clause they would have timed their resignation better and as such they were entitled to be paid it on that occasion.


 


So the key is whether this clause was communicated to you properly and if you knew about it before tendering your resignation. If that was the case, then it is unlikely you can claim this bonus.

Ben Jones :

sorry ignore the above

Ben Jones :

I posted it on the wrong window, your advice is below

Ben Jones :

This is a unique situation I must admit so I cannot comment from personal experience as I have not been through something similar in the past. It does look like a complex scenario though and as you have admitted, probably not something that you may wish to get involved further in and it could be something which you may wish to leave for someone willing to take over it.


 


No one can force you to continue working on this issue and in some respects it would be better if you walked away earlier rather than later when things could get more complex and you may inadvertently cause more damage as a result.


 


The issue is what agreement did you have with them and whether you are just allowed to walk away like this or if you need to for example give notice. Similarly, you may wish to consider whether you have already charged them for certain work that you have not yet provided.


 


There is no right or wrong way to go about this because a lot may also depend on how the client perceives this and no matter what reasons you give them they could still get upset about it. Saying that, it is best to be honest with them about the reasons and be clear that this is something that is potentially beyond your capabilities as an HR advisor and that it would be unprofessional for you to continue. Providing objective rather than personal reasons may minimise any negative impact this could have and could make the client more understandable.

Customer:

thank you! I know to do that as well!! I will advise them to seek mediation services and legal representation the only way out I see for them is to compromise with both employees and i do not think either will accept! Without the backing of a committee I can't continue. Do you think i should ask them to review the paid invoice to ensure they are happy that i have not

Customer:

overcharged them

Customer:

the june invoice was i think only for letters and meetings attended ...?

Ben Jones :

that would be professional of you to ensure that there are no outstanding issues before you leave and it gives them the opportunity to confirm that all is clear on that front. You can also state that the structure has changed dramatically since you were taken on and that what you are dealing with now no longer represents what you had agreed to work with at the time and it would create further difficulties in continuing to provide work for them

Customer:

hard to walk away was getting somewhere before the committee stepped down! but thank you i got so involved couldn't see the way out !!

Ben Jones :

yes can completely understand but sometimes you just have to take a step back, evaluate your position and decide on the best way to take the next step forward

Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: UK Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 48,783
Experience: Qualified Employment Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
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Category: UK Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 48,783
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Experience: Qualified Employment Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'

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