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Should I now ask for a compromise agreement?


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Hi there,

 

Taking my employers to a ET due to Disability Discrimination and Harassment - the line manager who did the majority of this has been made redundant and I don't think he's prepared to be used as a witness. My company asked for a delay in the Prohibitive Conduct Questionnaire until after all the documents of the case were shared(which the ET had scheduled about a week before the Questionnaire was due in) however, yippee, the ET Judge has agreed to me extending the date for the disclosure of documents so my Companies rep has said they are in 'a very difficult situation'.

 

I don't really want to go to the ET if we can sort it externally but my case looks increasingly good so, my question, because of these circumstances - is now the time to ask if they would consider a compromise agreement to end this sorry show?

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If you ask for the agreement you will lose the highground. Talk the talk and look as if you are going to go the distance. You need to make them come to you

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Hi there,

 

Thanks for the quick replies.

 

Yes, I have an ACAS conciliator - she seems quite good - but I get the impression from my Companies 'Employment Advocate' that he'd rather not use her and sort something between us.

 

Just got the impression that the word 'Compromise Agreement' was something you should wait for the employer to offer!

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Bankfodder - thanks - that's what I was thinking but equally I'd really like to keep the Companies 'Employment Advocate' sweet as he seems loathed to complete the Prohibitive Conduct Questionnaire and thought the chance to resolve this now without doing this would appeal to him? Not sure!

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Not necessarily, it depends on the circumstances. If you feel you have a good case but that you don't want the time, stress, etc., associated with a tribunal, it could be worth making the first move. The company may feel that it is a case they'll lose, or that they'd rather not have the publicity, and agree to the offer. You may not get as much as you would if you went to ET, or if you waited for them to make an offer further down the line, but it may not differ by much, and it would bring closure to the issue.

 

Check with your ACAS conciliator - she might be able to advise you on the best way to approach the employer. Do you still work there by the way?

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There's no reason you shouldnt be the first to explore settlement. It would be done under a COT3 Agreement though, rather than a Compromise Agreement.

 

If you want to make an offer, give your conciliator at ACAS a call and they will put the offer to the other side.

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What Becky said. Best done by someone who understands the process.

Never assume anyone on the internet is who they say they are. Only rely on advice from insured professionals you have paid for!

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Your employer might well see your offer of a compromise as a sign of weakness and make an insulting offer. If you do go down the ACAS concilaition road, you should be aware that what you say may constitute a binding agreement and before you know it, you have a COT3 that you may not have wanted. Getting your employer to conciliate will be half the battle.

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Your employer might well see your offer of a compromise as a sign of weakness and make an insulting offer. If you do go down the ACAS concilaition road, you should be aware that what you say may constitute a binding agreement and before you know it, you have a COT3 that you may not have wanted. Getting your employer to conciliate will be half the battle.

 

It would actually be very difficult to accidentally fall into a binding settlement. Even when the amount of compensation is settled, COT3 wording is drafted and sent out to the parties for approval - once agreed, only then does it become binding.

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When I researched ACAS concilaition, there was a case cited where one of the partees said she would be interested in leaving and ACAS made her commit to it, and there was nothing she could do, despite not having signed anything and protesting she had changed her mind.

 

The important thing to remember is ACAS are not acting on behalf you - as a neutral mediator - so you should still keep your wits about you and consider what you say to them carefully.

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When I researched ACAS concilaition, there was a case cited where one of the partees said she would be interested in leaving and ACAS made her commit to it, and there was nothing she could do, despite not having signed anything and protesting she had changed her mind.

 

The important thing to remember is ACAS are not acting on behalf you - as a neutral mediator - so you should still keep your wits about you and consider what you say to them carefully.

 

I think the key point there is that she changed her mind! No signature is required for a binding agreement, but once terms are agreed, neither party can change their mind.

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SuperJon, I am in a similar situation to you. Taking my employers to ET for disability discrimination. My employers asked ACAS to conciliate.

 

I completely understand how much you would want to settle but personally I would wait for an offer to come from your company. If you wait, your company will have to learn the strength of your case before making an offer plus they will know you are serious about taking this to ET. Initially, they will want to leave some time and hope to stress you out, so much, you will drop the case. Also, the games the employers play are just as stressful when ACAS are involved (possibly even more so) - another reason to wait until your employers are ready to accept they have to settle.

 

In my case, I felt manipulated and bullied into accepting an offer by ACAS (but still refused). The concilliator told me to accept the first amount offered by my company as the amount would go down as the case goes on. As it happens, the amount offered was my statutory minimum and couldn't go down! I am suffering from depression and ACAS had me in tears a number of times - setting me deadlines to submit 'statement of losses' and insisting I confirm the minimum settlement amount (and told me what my minimum amount should be). In the end, my husband took over dealing with them. Being depressed, I thought I was the problem but as it happens, my husband who is a very level headed and manages hundreds of people for a living, also found the acas person manipulative and unprofessional.

 

In August we received a call from ACAS to say a big offer was coming the next day and would match our minimum amount for settlement (an ACAS recommended figure)... We were so excited we thought the nightmare was finally over. A month later we are still waiting for the offer. We realise this is not ACAS's fault but when we asked ACAS what was going on their response was:

ACAS: "Company X haven't called and I doubt they would pay you that much".

Us: "You suggested that figure! GGGRRrrrrr...."

 

 

We would have complained but we don't want another battle!

 

BTW, The ACAS help desk have been brilliant (and I spoke to about 10 different advisors when raising my grievance). It is only the conciliator we have an issue with.

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