How Martin Searle Solicitors secured an increase in compensation and an agreed reference for our client under a Settlement Agreement.
Linda worked as a team manager for an international insurance company. Throughout her two years at the company, Linda was forced to deal with an excessive workload with very little support or assistance from management. She raised her concerns with management on several occasions, but her concerns were ignored. Despite requesting it, she was never given a formal appraisal or training.
The situation became increasingly untenable and Linda was signed off work with depression and work-related anxiety. A week after submitting her sick note, the company’s international manager rang Linda at 9pm telling her she was dismissed. Linda’s line manager presented her with a Settlement Agreement (then known as a Compromise Agreement) containing an offer of £4,300 compensation in exchange for her waiving her right to bring any claims against the company.
Linda came to see the employment team in our Croydon solicitors’ office for employment law advice to decide whether she should accept this Settlement Agreement.
We advised Linda that she had a strong claim for unfair dismissal as the company had failed to carry out the basic minimum requirements under the Acas Code of Practice. It was clear the company had no defence to her claim and if she issued it there was likely to be an uplift of up to 25% on any compensation awarded because it had failed to follow a fair process.
We also advised that the company had circumvented its own disciplinary procedure as Linda had never been given any formal warnings or invited to any disciplinary meeting or given the right to appeal against her dismissal. This meant that she had a potential claim for unfair dismissal if it proceeded to dismiss her.
We wrote to the company on a without prejudice (off the record) basis, putting forward an offer to settle Linda’s potential claim. We advised the company that if it did not agree to settle for a reasonable amount, Linda would issue her claim in the Employment Tribunal.
Following negotiations with the company and its solicitors, we were able to increase Linda’s payment under the Settlement Agreement to £10,000. This equated to about six months’ net pay. The company also provided a reference enabling Linda to secure a new job shortly afterwards.