Our Client was a regulatory counsel at a large investment bank. She had been headhunted to a niche role which had involved a 12-month recruitment process. Following 15 months of successful service, a new line manager concluded that she wanted to appoint a lawyer with greater seniority and commenced a performance management process.
Our Client was signed off with stress and depression and her employer offered to pay her in lieu of her notice to leave employment. Following, our intervention we were able to secure a settlement which was equivalent to her annual remuneration package.
The settlement included additional provisions for continuing some contractual benefits for six months post-termination and outplacement support.
Simple and straightforward
We were approached by a client who was in the midst of a redundancy consultation process from a software Company which was affecting him and 18 colleagues.
We advised our client on the consultation process, in particular that the Company was likely to be vulnerable to a protective award claim for a failure to inform and consult under section 188 of the Trade Union and Labour Relations (Consolidation) Act 1992.
Our intervention resulted in a higher settlement and full release on onerous restrictive covenants. The Client was so impressed he referred his colleagues and we secured the same terms for the referred clients.
Is a protected conversation really protected?
A senior manager came to us having been told by her employer she was going to be dismissed and offered a settlement agreement. She was sent home today. The employer believed that the employee could not rely on the conversation to prove unfair dismissal as it was a “protected conversation”.
We were able to point out to her employer that the conversation about settlement was not protected because they had already told the employee she was to be dismissed. As such they had no defence to an unfair dismissal claim. We were able to more than double the amount of compensation offered.
Using Sick Leave during a PIP
A senior consultant approached us having been placed on a performance improvement plan. (“PIP”). The plan set out targets that the consultant had no hope of meeting given his pipeline and the consultant had little prospect of not being dismissed on the grounds of capability after a 3 month process.
The consultant was severely stressed due to his impending loss of employment, so we advised him of his right to take sick leave due to stress. While he was on sick leave, his employer were unable to advance the PIP as they could not fairly assess his performance when he wasn’t there.
We were able to negotiate a settlement significantly in excess of the 3 month period the employer would have taken to complete the PIP had the consultant remained at work.
Unfair treatment during maternity leave
An employee came to us given the changes that had transpired in her workplace while she was absent on maternity leave. There had been changes in the business while she was away and all of her (male) colleagues had been promoted as a result.
Although the employee was informed of the changes being made, she was not consulted about the impact on her role or given the opportunity to apply for the new roles her colleagues had been promoted to.
The employer felt very strongly that they had done nothing wrong as the employee’s role still existed and they were very keen for her to return to it. They felt the fact that other people were promoted was immaterial to her position.
We were able to explain to them that excluding the employee from discussions about the changes and denying her the opportunity to be considered for the new roles (even if she would have been unsuccessful) in effect treated the employee as though she was not part of the team, and the reason for this treatment was the employee’s maternity leave.
As such, the employer actions were discriminatory. The employer reconsidered their position and agreed a substantial settlement.