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ajnotts

Employment Tribunal Solicitor Threats HELP!!

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I am currently going through a tribunal against my former employer for breach of contract.

 

I have received a letter (WITHOUT PREJUDICE, SAVE AS TO COSTS) today from their solicitors stating that they consider the case to be entirely without merit and there is no chance of me winning. They have invited me to withdraw my claim against them by 5pm on 31st July, if i do not withdraw the claim then they expect their client to instruct them to request the claim if listed for a Pre-Hearing Review to consider whether my claim should be struck out by the tribunal.

 

They then go on that if their client is required to defend my claim at a Pre-Hearing Review and the tribunal finds in their clients favour (as they predict, suprisingly!!!) then they envisage their client will instruct them to make an application against me for its costs incurred in defending my claim. In this event, they will draw the Tribunal's attention to this letter in support of a Costs Order against me in respect of the legal fees incurred in the preparation of this case (unless my claim is withdrawn by 31st July) The reason for this is that they believe my claim is unreasonable and without merit whatsoever.

 

Should I take any notice of what they are saying??

 

Is what they are stating true or is it a scaremongering tactic that they are using to get me to back down because they are actually worried that I DO have a genuine chance of winning the claim?

 

They have not offered me any kind of settlement figure to drop the claim, if they did and I felt that the offer was suitable then I would be happy to drop the claim without the need to take it further.

 

Any advice would be most appreciated.

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what was the breach of contract ????


Beck

"There are two ways to conquer and enslave a nation. one is by the Sword. The other is by Debt."

 

Barclaycard PPI Refund £4300:whoo:

Barclaycard = Mexican Stand Off

 

TSB = Mexican Stand Off

 

Santander = :mad2: MungyPup is coming to get yahh :mad2:

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I had been employed by the company for four months and was still in my probationary period, during this four months I had been off sick on three separate occasions.

 

The company has a policy whereby if you are off sick on three occasions you have an attendance review meeting to discuss your absences and work out a way forward to improve the situation, if after you first review meeting, you are off sick twice within twelve months of this meeting you have a second meeting, any more absences a third meeting, then it goes to a final meeting where you can be dismissed.

 

According to their contract you are not entitled to the above during your probationary period, it states that if you are absent once you may be offered counselling and if you are absent for a second time a meeting will be held with HR and your Line Manager to discuss your suitability for the job and could lead to you being dismissed.

 

This was not the case with myself as I had three absences and was given a first stage attendance review meeting, the same as employees who have completed their probationary period would get, the employers themselves have admitted this.

 

The contract states that during the first attendance review meeting the possible outcome is a first stage warning only, the only time it states that you r employment maybe terminated is if you are given a final absence review meeting.

 

My argument that they have breached the contract is that it does not state that you can be dismissed after a first absence review meeting regardless of whether you are still in your probationary period and that the terms of the contract have not been followed correctly in the first place.

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"I had been employed by the company for four months and was still in my probationary period"

 

I think in light of the above you are on very thin ground


Beck

"There are two ways to conquer and enslave a nation. one is by the Sword. The other is by Debt."

 

Barclaycard PPI Refund £4300:whoo:

Barclaycard = Mexican Stand Off

 

TSB = Mexican Stand Off

 

Santander = :mad2: MungyPup is coming to get yahh :mad2:

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Why do you think that?

 

They have not followed their contract correctly, and have admitted this, regardless of whether I was in my probationary period or not a contract is still a contract.

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under employment law...you have very little rights until you have been there 12 months....thats not to say you don't have any

 

unfortunately, looking from the outside......i would say you are not going to get very far (but there is always hope) and the tribunal could end up costing you dearly

 

not what you wanted to here, i know but life goes on


Beck

"There are two ways to conquer and enslave a nation. one is by the Sword. The other is by Debt."

 

Barclaycard PPI Refund £4300:whoo:

Barclaycard = Mexican Stand Off

 

TSB = Mexican Stand Off

 

Santander = :mad2: MungyPup is coming to get yahh :mad2:

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If my claim had little chance of success the why would the employment tribunal accept my claim and proceed with it in the first place?

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I am currently going through a tribunal against my former employer for breach of contract.

 

What stage in the tribunal process are you at?

 

It's very unusual for a claim to be accepted with less than 12 months employment.

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Tribunals determine disputes between two partys

 

look at the end of the day, if you know your right & you think you will win.........Go For IT, but be prepared to lose and pay the costs associated


Beck

"There are two ways to conquer and enslave a nation. one is by the Sword. The other is by Debt."

 

Barclaycard PPI Refund £4300:whoo:

Barclaycard = Mexican Stand Off

 

TSB = Mexican Stand Off

 

Santander = :mad2: MungyPup is coming to get yahh :mad2:

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mariefab - the respondent had until 15th July to respond, I spoke to employment tribunal office on 16th July and was advised they had responded on 15th July, I am still yet to receive a copy of their response.

 

ET have advised me the case is now awaiting a date.

 

I know that for certain claims, e.g. unfair dismissal, you need at least 12 months service, but breach of contract claims do not require 12 months and can be made from the day your employment commences.

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In my (limited) experience, I would expect that you'll receive a copy of their ET3 in any day now.

You will then be in a better position to research your possibilities of success.

 

It's extremely rare for costs to be awarded against claimants.

 

I would suggest that, unless they can prove that you lied on your ET1, their statement that your claim is 'unreasonable and without merit whatsoever' has already been disproved by the ET's acceptance of your claim.

 

However, as it seems from your post #3 that your former employer just made a mistake in the type of meeting at which you were dismissed I wouldn't estimate that your chances of success are very high.

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I have sought advice on their apparent threat of a costs order and it does seem that they have little chance of success with this and it is just a tactic they are using to get me to withdraw my claim, which, if as they seem to believe, I have no chance of winning my claim, then why do they want me to withdraw it??

 

I understand what you are saying (mariefab) regarding my post #3, but regardless of whether they made a mistake or not in the type of meeting in which I was dismissed, it was clearly stated to me that it was a first absence review meeting, and nowhere in the contract does it state that the outcome of this meeting could be dismissal.

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Guest Old_andrew2018

You may be on thin ice as people suggest, however their letter is WITHOUT PREJUDICE, it is my understanding that as such it can't be used in the tribunal.

I am sure that someone with expertise will be able to correct my assumption if its incorrect.

 

Andy

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This is interesting. The main thing is not to panic. Yes, your claim is technically on very thin ice unless it has been lodged on the grounds of discrimination.

 

The fact is that this sort of letter is totally unacceptable from a firm of solicitors. Frankly I would lodge a complaint against them with the Solicitors complaints bureau or what ever it's called.

 

For a start, they know costs will not be awarded and secondly they also know it can't be used as is without prejudice.

 

It's quite outrageous.

 

I also don't understand why you have not mentioned ACAS in this. Usually they get involved first and would have advised to the merits of the claim.

 

At this moment in time I'd get some serious advice as to the merits of your claim from a properly qualified solicitor.

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jasperpad, this is quite an old thread. I will move your post to a thread of its own.

 

http://www.consumeractiongroup.co.uk/forum/showthread.php?407004-Re-Employment-Tribunal-Solicitor-Threats-HELP!!

 

Link to jasperpad's thread.


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