The case study below (a real example) is also a common situation for us.
We are contacted by someone going through issues at work. They are very upset, stressed, and they want to leave their job.
We start by giving them advice on the legal implications of their treatment and explore the possibility of trying to fix the issues at work so they can stay employed.
If, after receiving our advice, they still want to leave, we make a plan to negotiate their exit with a compensation payment. This enables our client to leave a workplace that is making them miserable with financial compensation. The settlement payment makes the process of getting into alternative process employment less stressful because they have some money behind them as additional security.
Many of our clients get into comparable (or better) jobs quickly and they end up better off financially because they left their previous role with compensation.
This is a much better position than just resigning and then looking for a new job.
It is important to stress this point. If you are having issues at work and want to leave, get in touch with us first, and this must be before resigning. We may be able to help you leave in a much stronger position.
Background – JS
JS came to us when she was still employed, but she was signed off with stress.
She had been employed for over 10 years. She had health issues, which amounted to a disability under the Equality Act 2010. There were some reasonable adjustments in place, which were agreed with her manager.
However, her manager left the business, and she was then to report to a new manager, who we shall refer to as NM.
The NM kept asking JS to do things, which contradicted the reasonable adjustments in place, such as her working hours and location (her adjustments included varied hours and some working from home).
Another reasonable adjustment in place, when working in the office, was regular breaks and short periods away from her desk. When JS would take these breaks, NM would challenge her and make comments to JS and her colleagues. NM was not sympathetic to JS’s condition or her reasonable adjustments.
JS Coming to Toner Legal
JS’s treatment at work became so upsetting she was signed off by her GP.
JS was thinking of resigning, just to get away from her workplace, because it was causing so much stress and making her unhappy.
JS was considering resigning and then taking some advice, with a view to trying to get compensation for her treatment, which she thought was only possible through the Employment Tribunal.
However, when signed off from work (and still employed) JS gave us a call.
We immediately explained why staying employed put her in a much stronger position to negotiate and getting compensation now, was much quicker and easier than making a Tribunal claim, which can take several years – meaning further stress and leaving her out of pocket.
We onboarded JS as a client and she used our “Advice and Exit Package.” This consists of:
- An Advice and Tactics Session:
- This is where we analyse the situation, identify the legal claims, and give advice, enabling JS to decide what she wanted to do.
- JS decided she still wanted to leave, but with compensation, so we moved on to identifying the tactics to be used to make this happen (we like to call this “drawing up our battle plans”).
- The Negotiation.
- After the advice and tactics session, we were to start negotiating directly with JS’s employer.
- From the advice and tactics session, we had a plan, and had (with JS) identified the level of compensation we were aiming for.
- The negotiation often starts with us writing to the employer on a “without prejudice” basis, and this is what happened for JS.
We wrote to JS’s employer on a without prejudice basis setting out the relevant background and highlighting the legal claims and their potential ramifications (as identified during our Advice and Exit package with JS).
In the same letter, we made JS’s employer a proposal, which included JS leaving the business with a compensation payment, in exchange for the parties to resolve the legal claims via a settlement agreement.
We successfully negotiated terms that JS was happy with and these were finalised in a settlement agreement.
JS was able to leave on an agreed date. She was not required to work her notice period, we secured a reference and obtained her a compensation payment. This was her ideal outcome.
JS had the safety net of the compensation payment whilst she looked for a new job. This placed JS in a much better position had she decided to resign without first securing a deal, which makes it much harder to negotiate. If JS took this course, she may have ended up working her notice and either not obtaining any compensation or some compensation after a long and drawn-out Tribunal claim.
JS’s situation highlights the importance of staying employed and seeking help and doing so quickly.
We would like to thank JS for her review below and for allowing us to publish her story above.