Friday, 27 November 2009

Tribunal - interesting times.....

Hullo ma wee blog,

Well the time for the unfair dismissal tribunal to hear my case is fast approaching, scheduled for 3rd and 4th Dec, and my colleagues who agreed to give statements and evidence have all stepped up to the mark and confirmed attendance at the hearing which makes me feel both very supported and grateful to them for having the courage to do that when they may need to reapply to the company for employment at some stage. To cover them as much as I can I have asked the tribunal to summons them in effect, which demands compulsory attendance and gives them some scope for stating that they were not 100% willing to come but had no option.

I had a lengthy meeting last Thursday with the very expensive solicitors which my insurance company has provided for me and they have again agreed that my case is valid and are totally confident that any tribunal will decide in my favour. But the decision is only the first part. The next thorny issue for them to decide would be any financial award in compensation of my claim.

My specialist employment law solicitor has advised that this could in effect be a complete lottery, and very hard to forecast due to the high level of redundancy and length of service money in my redundancy payment, which already puts me within sight of the maximum that can be awarded, but he has advised what he thinks would be the likely figure based on his experience.

My former employers representatives have already made an initial offer in an attempt to settle out of court which I have rejected strongly. My solicitor said he was surprised at the level of offer which was high for a first attempt and he said he felt that this reflected their concern at the strength of my case. I turned the screws a bit more on checking who would be attending from my employer to find that it would only be my head of dept by asking my solicitor to instruct a summons to 4 directors to come up from London for two days as, in my opinion, they have accountability for and questions to answer on the fairness of the process used and the lack of high level review and sign off as per the corporate process.

Today I have received a substantially increased offer for settlement out of court and I am going to take some time to consider this over the weekend. I am very much minded to have my day in tribunal and to have my fight fully vindicated. I feel in many ways that my self esteem almost demands it. I am very bitter with my employer for treating me this way after 32 years and so I would also dearly love to see if a few newspapers would be interested in a story of how a high profile company, and one which is regarded as an icon of British industry is using such negligent and underhand means to reduce the workforce in these difficult times. I think they would. I know our local paper would be only too keen as they are not fans of my previous employer and have written several articles about its impact and high handed attitude locally.

Part of me is surprised I feel this way but it has grown in me having gone through the redundancy process and the laughable procedure of two levels of farcical appeal which is now, having experienced it, only really designed to further protect the companies interests and has no value whatsoever as an unbiased protector of your rights as an employee. I have already proved the company incorrect when they failed to advise me of my right to move redundancy payment to pension untaxed, and they have admitted that the process is going to be amended to avoid this in future, but how many thousands, and it is thousands, have been made redundant this year without that information.

I will ponder my options over the next few days.

see you later.

Listening to Satie...... various recordings


Big Swifty said...

Sounds like it's worth holding out, as it will be better for your self-esteem having it resolved in your favour. (I'm intrigued who your employer was, and what your job was too!). Erik Satie can help,I love his stuff. Do you know Satie's "Parade"? I love the concept behind it, that the crowd watch the circus parade, and think they've seen the actual show. How relevant this is to your current circumstances, I can only speculate!!!

Alistair said...

Hullo Swifty,

Thanks for the comment.

Between posting and reading I had 'cogitated, ruminated and digested' as one presenter of masterchef used to say and decided that I didn't need to ponder too long before rejecting their second offer. [I dont usually take long to make decisions}

I love Satie but wasn't listening to 'Parade' but the Gymnopides series. I love his slowness and the dolorous nature of these works, they almost make you breathe more slowly, to feel the world a bit differently somehow. I love his work, and of course Debussy.

I should post some detail about my job I suppose. I was just trying to be cautious with appeals and tribunal in the offing.

I will soon - not that it was earth shattering or anything....... I|'m a pretty ordinary kind o laddie!

Bovey Belle said...

I was going to say, if they're really upping the ante in the hope of settling out of court, they must think you have a strong case. If you are a man of principle, and I believe you are, then you will want justice to be seen to be done (and then plastered all over the front of the dailies . . .) Good luck Al.

Morning's Minion said...

I think there comes a point in this sort of battle where we want--and need--to be vindicated if possible. The whole process of a hearing is terribly unsettling and the wondering over the outcome is nerve-wracking. Still, scuttling back into the woodwork isn't usually a satifactory option. I hope this goes well for you.

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