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respondent tactics? is this normal?


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Hi all,

 

I have a full 10 day hearing coming up for discrimination, whistle-blowing, victimization, harassment & constructive dismissal.

 

The respondents asked me to forward a figure that i would settle for. I did this and now i have received a nasty letter from them.

 

The respondents response is that they will only explore settlement if i drop the whistle-blowing element of the claim. This is odd as they asked me to give them a figure and now they are saying they will not explore settlement until i drop the whistle-blowing element.

 

The respondents are the big public sector employer that has been in the press about using gagging orders in settlement agreements. I wonder if this is their new way of shutting up whistle-blowers a bit of black mail i.e drop the whisle-blowing and we might settle.

 

Any views on the above, is this just normal game playing now that hearing isn't too far away?

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Hi welcome to CAG,

 

I would suggest that your case is not suitable for a self help open forum, should seek qualified professional advice on this as soon as possible.

Any Letters I Draft are N0T approved by CAG and no personal liability is accepted.

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I would write back to them but make sure you clearly mark any correspondence to them as being WITHOUT PREJUDICE, so they can not be used as evidence by the other side if you do end up at a full hearing. Tell them that you are willing to consider entering a compromise agreement for the sum you proposed and offer them the opportunity to draft such agreement for you to consider. Let them produce an agreement proposal before you make any decision. If you're not happy with what they propose then you are still within your rights to reject it and proceed to the ET hearing, so there's nothing lost by exploring the option of a compromise agreement.

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It is a very odd request. Ultimately it depends what they mean by "drop the whistle-blowing element". If they mean you have to actually amend your ET1 before they will enter into negotiations, that is unreasonable. If they mean that any settlement will be without any admission of liability and that you will have to sign a confidentiality agreement, that is pretty standard.

 

Personally I would write-back 'without prejudice' as follows:

  • Withdrawing the whistleblowing claim would mean an amendment of the ET1.
  • Amending the ET1 can only be done with the Tribunal's permission (see rule 29).
  • Issuing an application to amend the ET1 before any settlement is agreed would incur costs for the Respondent, waste the time of both parties and waste the time of the Tribunal.
  • It would be impossible to explain the reason for an amendment application to the Tribunal unless the Respondent waives 'without prejudice' privilege over the parties' discussions and explains them to the Tribunal.
  • You are happy to enter into settlement discussions. A settlement would obviously include withdrawal of the whistle-blowing claim.
  • Adding bizarre and restrictive pre-conditions before even entering into a settlement discussion is effectively a refusal to negotiate, which is unreasonable conduct and will be drawn to the attention of the Tribunal on the question of costs, if necessary.
  • You would be willing to settle all of your claims on a 'no admission of liability' basis (including the whistleblowing claim) for the sum of [£...] which you feel is fair in the circumstances.

  • Haha 1

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Thank you all so much for your advice, i really appreciate it and will take it all on board.

 

The respondents were the ones who initiated the settlement negotiations and there response has thrown me and the way in which they have responded has confused me. I thought the way they would have approached it would have been how you have listed Steampowered. i.e compromise agreement 'no admission of liability'

 

They are expecting me to withdraw the whistle-blowing element from the ET1 prior to reentering settlement negotiations, but if i were to do that it would leave me in a vulnerable position if settlement negotiations were not successful.

 

They have said in the letter they will not explore settlement negotiations until the whistle-blowing element is dropped because HM treasury will not approve any settlement payment with a whistle-blowing element attached to it. They went onto say if i drop the whistle-blowing element it is likely they would receive HM treasury approval.

 

Again thank you for your advice, i'll use the advice you have given me in moving things forward.

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This is a typical Civil Service tactic. It is not your problem about who approves their process. I would advise, just ignore them, as it is distracting you from your case. Write to them and tell them you are not interested, without elaborating. You will be told that HM Treasury will only approve a sum "up to £XK" after which, it has to be approved higher up. They are testing you. What has it got to do with you who approves their settlement, after all?

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thank you all again,

 

Their letter distracted me but your replies have refocused my mind back to what is important and that is to do everything in my power to make sure my case is successful at the hearing!

 

thank you & i shall let you all know the results of this when its all over

 

kind regards

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I cannot see any real reason for refusing to even begin negotiation. Any withdrawals needed to finalise the settlement can take place after settlement has been agreed in principle. You can say that you would be happy to consider withdrawing the whistleblowing claim before a final settment is approved, but there would obviously have to be a negotiation first.

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  • 1 month later...
Hi welcome to CAG,

 

I would suggest that your case is not suitable for a self help open forum, should seek qualified professional advice on this as soon as possible.

 

I got very good advice from this forum 2 yrs ago re Whistle blowing and rec'd a good settlement before it went to trail (They tried bully boy tactics) Most people don't have the resources to get legal advice and come on forums like this. If you don't know the answer best not respond.

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I got very good advice from this forum 2 yrs ago re Whistle blowing and rec'd a good settlement before it went to trail (They tried bully boy tactics) Most people don't have the resources to get legal advice and come on forums like this. If you don't know the answer best not respond.

So what?

Any Letters I Draft are N0T approved by CAG and no personal liability is accepted.

Please Consider making a donation to keep this site running!

Nemo Mortalium Omnibus Horis Sapit: Animo et Fide:

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The response was most certainly not ill informed - against a big employer with unlimited resources it would be common sense that one should seek professional advice where possible and is a suggestion that we would all make in appropriate circumstances.

 

Whilst it is pleasing that you managed to get an out of court settlement without taking professional legal advice, it should always be borne in mind that CAG does not offer this - although some members are suitably qualified, you must remember that many are not and unless you are absolutely certain of your case and your ability to present it to a Judge, you should at least consider the opinion of a solicitor - which will often not cost you anything.

 

Some you win, but equally some cases which look winnable can fail spectacularly if pushed to a full hearing.

Any advice given is done so on the assumption that recipients will also take professional advice where appropriate.

 

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