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ISay

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About ISay

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  1. Probably because you didn't read my post thoroughly enough. Have another read. There has not yet been a hearing. If you don't have any advice then please stop posting on my thread, thank you.
  2. Erm, thank you for the "helpful"reply but as you'll note, it's been a long time since I posted and no-one offered any advice so obviously I've decided what I'm going to do now... I didn't know before and why wouldn't I get advice? No harm in getting as much info as possible. Not sure what question I haven't answered but thank you again for posting.
  3. Hi, Having worked as a union rep I am fairly confident about defending employees' rights including my own. Any issues and I typically post a thread on a forum such as this one and speak with a legal advisor in addition to using my own knowledge. My employer has access to evidence which proves my colleagues have all done the same thing (some still are which is infuriating) and I know everyone in the company does too. I don't want to work here anyway and indeed always intended to leave this year (albeit at the end of July) so I've chosen to resign instead of accepting their settlement agreement. The terms of the agreement were a joke and I'm fortunate enough to be able to afford to have principles so if they choose to fire me during my notice period for something my males colleagues have done and are still doing, I will sue them I won't sue for money though (other than my notice pay and any costs) so if they think the time, money and humiliation for them is worth it then so be it. It's a shame but I plan to take a couple of years off work and then be self employed so I'm not too concerned but I will fight for the principal of it. Always.
  4. Hi guys, Bit of background: I'm just shy of two years with my employer, I always prioritise my work and in the beginning, when the workload was really high, I would often stay back for hours and come in at the weekend to help out without being asked and without being paid. I have a strong work ethic. The issue: My manager, whom I've raised a grievance against for various reasons, reported me to HR for carrying out non-work related activity whilst at work which is true. Why did I do it if I have a strong work ethic? Various people on the team including myself have brought to our manager's attention that there are many hours every day with no work to do. He hasn't escalated this to anyone and he has allowed everyone on the team to browse the internet, complete coursework and sit on Facebook etc. for many months. I refuse to sit and do nothing for hours every day so I choose to educate myself by completing coursework. What's happened? I had an investigation which I know is going to progress to a disciplinary based on the questions and the fact that I once (or twice) printed something off using work's printers. This probably cost the company 10p and considering the additional hours of work I've put in I would say that they could let that slide but they won't of course. Every time I gave a reasonable explanation for my actions, the investigator explained it away and asked me leading questions to force me to look bad such as 'do you think it is reasonable of an employer who is paying you to expect you to talk with your team as part of a team bonding exercise rather than use company equipment (PC) to complete coursework'. This question is ridiculous and I tried to point this out in the most diplomatic way possible; if my employer is happy to pay me to sit and gossip for hours, or sit and stare into space for hours then why would it matter if I sit and do coursework? I feel as though I am being punished for choosing to educate myself rather than sit and chat...which we're actually not allowed to do because our manager tells us off for it regularly (i.e. after a couple of minutes, never mind hours!) The advice I need is this: If an employee tells their line manager and one of the owners of the company that they do not have any work to do for lengthy periods of time every day (proving they want to work!), can the employer punish me for browsing the web etc. especially when everyone else on the team does it and the manager has known for months? This company has standard policies about web usage but our manager has set the precedent by allowing it for so long. The example they gave of 'sit and chat' is ridiculous because that would be worse and here's why: The investigator had been given (false) information that on a particular shift I had not dealt with a user effectively as a result of doing my coursework. This was inaccurate, I had actually put more effort into trying to get it resolved than any of my colleagues would have, it just happens that I missed what the issue was. There was only one other colleague working that day and we'd had a falling out. Clearly he has lied about me. Yet, this same colleague kept leaving his desk to go and chat with people and actually packed up all of his things 40 minutes before the end of his shift and went to have a gossip with some staff. I completed more than twice the amount of work that he did on that shift. By being away from his desk, he wasn't available to take calls and wasn't available to deal with any issues yet I was because I was staring at my screen writing up an essay. So, who was the more productive employee that day? What employer would really prefer an employee to sit and chat, over educating themselves? I'm shortly speaking to Citizens Advice as I cannot believe that there is any legal justification for refusing to give someone work to do for so many hours but then complain when they read...or type an essay. Especially when the alternative that they suggest is actually worse. I'd also like to point out that when my manager was told about others doing similar things, he did nothing about it. Doesn't my employer have a responsibility to treat me equally and fairly? If anyone has any comments or suggestions, I'd appreciate them.
  5. Hi everyone, I want to say a huge thank you for taking the time to reply. I have looked into this and the reason I became suspicious of my ex-employer is because of some terms they included in a previous compromise agreement. It has since been brought to my attention that the only reason those terms would have been relevant in that agreement is because the compensation was for terminating the employment as opposed to settling claims (although they did include that I couldn't sue them after leaving of course!). I didn't go ahead with that for various reasons but it had been playing on my mind that they might get me to sign away my rights and then try to reclaim the money (after paying out) for whatever reason at some point in the future but the research I have done and the advice I have had confirms this would not be possible as long as the agreement is worded correctly. Despite the advice to avoid 'full and final settlement' wording in the hyperlinks on these posts, it is actually better to agree to this for both parties based on case studies looked at because this protects both sides. If an employer refused to agree to this and also to specify which claims were being settled in full, I would be very suspicious because this would leave them open to being sued again by the employee. I can understand why employees would want to avoid this (so that they can sue again!) but really, as long as you agree terms and are happy with the terms then you shouldn't need to. I also think it would be daft for an employer to try to take further action because their case would be public and I doubt they would ever be able to settle anything out of tribunal/court again! = long term benefits over short term of simply walking away... Anyway, I've had my mind put at ease and I'm grateful for the advice guys. Thank you
  6. Thank you to everyone for the replies. I have already asked for both parties to sign away their rights (or right to any claims) but they have refused and I've been told by the ACAS conciliator (and a solicitor in the past) that this is normal and employers never agree to this so the only thing stopping me from settling now is not knowing what they can bring a claim for given that I have left the company and the settlement through ACAS is specifically to settle my claims. So, assuming the ACAS terms are as follows: - all of my claims are settled based on a payment of £x (I left months ago having worked out my notice) Q. Does my employer have a legal right to sue me for the money back through the county court under any circumstances at all and what would those be? (Although I'm grateful for the help, facts only please not opinions as I need to know whether or not to settle or go through the tribunal to ensure my claims are heard if I'm not going to be compensated in the end anyway) - case studies would be ideal as I've searched the internet but can't find anything about this. Thank you,
  7. Hi guys, I am currently negotiating a settlement agreement through ACAS whilst the tribunal is pending. I need to know under what circumstances my previous employer can attempt to recover the money from me once the agreement is signed. I ask because they have stated they will not sign away their rights (but I have to). This makes me highly suspicious about their intentions and although the ACAS conciliator assures me this is normal, I'm sure he doesn't know how often people get screwed over later once his part is done! Basically, I wasn't very senior in the company so the only thing I'm worried about is that I will settle, sign away my rights and then my employer will make up some 'gross misconduct' which wouldn't be difficult to do and they've lied a lot in the past (and in the very recent!). I'm worried they will make a claim to a county court saying they wouldn't have had to pay out for my claims if they had found this earlier as they would have fired me. 1. Can they do this after I have signed an agreement through ACAS even though I no longer work for them? (would it have to be specified in the agreement or is it just assumed that they can / can't) 2. Other than what is explicitly stated in the agreement, is there anything they can recover the money for by default? Basically, I don't want to settle 'quietly' then have them turn around and claim the money back knowing that I won't be able to then make my claims public. Please can you provide sources for any advice offered (if possible) so that I know it's not just opinion and also so that I can study up on this more. Thank you very much,
  8. Thanks for that - just noticed the year on the previous post! Oops, but at least this thread may help someone else when it comes up in their Google search!
  9. Hello, I don't have all of the facts so this is something you will have to investigate thoroughly: I have it on good authority that if you are taken off a secondment due to the business no longer requiring the current staff levels, they are not allowed to re-fill your position for a certain length of time. Go to the Citizen's Advice Bureau and perhaps ask for legal aid solicitors in your area because if you are on benefits / not earning a wage then you may receive legal advice free of charge. What you need to know is; is there a law your agency broke by employing new staff after having let you go (and by choosing to let you go despite having the option of letting the most recent agency worker go and by not offering you the secondment once it became available which would have made the most sense). You cannot bring a claim to an Employment Tribunal because of the wording of the law (ridiculous I know), as you likely have a "statement of particulars" rather than an "employment contract", you are not "legally" an employee (i.e. "in the eyes of the law") despite the reality being that you are paid to work for them; they make money from you and common sense dictates that this makes you an employee but judges have to follow the law to the letter so you cannot make use of an Employment Tribunal which is for employees only. Insane. However, you may be able to use the traditional courts. This will cost you though (but at least you can claim legal costs if the agency loses and should be easier to obtain). Be absolutely sure that your solicitor/barrister believes you have a strong case. They are not allowed to lie to you and must be honest when you ask; also check if you have to raise a grievance first which you can do even now (up to about 6 months after ending your employment). Additionally; it's worth asking the solicitor to contact the agency letting them know what action may be taken against them due to the law(s) they have broken and suggest that they settle the dispute for a reasonable amount of money and negotiate this with them. It's at least worth a conversation with a solicitor especially if you can get legal aid and have the cost covered. Regards P.S. You are not alone, this happens all the time to everyone who stands up for themselves no matter who you are. P.S.S. The advice about making sure you have a strong case and claiming costs only applies if you cannot obtain legal aid and have to pay the costs yourself upfront. Also; try to get witness statements and collect all relevant evidence.
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