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  • FIRST POST
    • palasmy
    • By palasmy 18th Jul 18, 9:07 AM
    • 172Posts
    • 22Thanks
    palasmy
    Capability Hearing
    • #1
    • 18th Jul 18, 9:07 AM
    Capability Hearing 18th Jul 18 at 9:07 AM
    Hello All

    Apologies for the long write up but I wanted to put my story in the right context hence the essay!!

    I'm 44 years old and have worked for this company for 17 years at various international locations, and in UK since 2007 Sept. I was also deputed to the Middle East recently between 2014 - 2016. The company is a world leader in Oil service industry catering to the Upstream Exploration business. There was a redundancy program in 2016 where the workforce was almost reduced to 50% world wide in our offices.

    I'm the youngest in the current team whilst the oldest is nearly 60. Since my arrival from the Middle East I have been dumped on projects/work that were not very appealing in terms of revenue, as a consequence my reviews / appraisals were in line with this. In addition to this the company also introduced a quarterly feedback system where they pretty much asked the staff to literally 'market themselves' in the form of what each of us brought to the table. Obviously with the kind of work I was doing there wasn't a great deal that I could come up with and from what I gather from the team they had similar comments too. Our supervisor, who himself was demoted from a Managerial level to supervisory level, with his plans for early retirement already in place he just wants to go with the senior management's flow.

    Last week I was called in for an informal chat by my Manager where he informed about the capability policy and scared me with a target, which he himself admitted can be really tough. His comment was that my performance wasn't upto the level and that there were others who is able to perform way beyond than me. Yesterday again I was called in for another informal catch up where he showed me the performance improvement plan (PIP) that seemed so unrealistic, both technically and time frame wise. So, I queried what were my other options. His response was he can’t discuss them without a HR person. I have been invited for another informal meeting on Friday with him and a HR person.

    My queries
    How should I face this situation, I feel I’m being unfairly targeted and some form of discrimination is going on which I can’t quiet grasp
    As the situation in the office is very much a ‘dog fight’ for work, the other three in the team seems like ganged up against me or could be just be quiet to safe guard their own positions.
    Can I take my supervisor and the team lead for the informal meeting with me, so I know what their positions are in respect to my current situation. So far except my manager everyone else has been tight lipped despite all being higher in hierarchy than me.

    PS. I do have my own doubts about my supervisor as I had a small scuffle with him few weeks ago on a work, but I would be surprised if he had taken that to this level...

    Really would appreciate your valuable comments and thoughts, thanks in advance for your time.

    Should I accept the PIP option and give it a try?? Ofcourse the risk is if I can’t make it then I have to accept the dismissal on that ground, what happens if I withdraw half way through the process, can I resign??

    Thanks
    Feeling lost!!
Page 4
    • Undervalued
    • By Undervalued 10th Aug 18, 12:24 PM
    • 3,580 Posts
    • 3,265 Thanks
    Undervalued
    Previous post(#22) said £350 towards the solicitor for the SA.
    Originally posted by getmore4less
    Thanks.

    Round here that wouldn't even cover the bare minimum with most solicitors!
    • lulu650
    • By lulu650 10th Aug 18, 4:01 PM
    • 924 Posts
    • 980 Thanks
    lulu650
    ....Round here that wouldn't even cover the bare minimum with most solicitors!
    Originally posted by Undervalued
    £350 +VAT is the standard charge. How many solicitors have you tried?
    Saving money right, left and centre
    • Undervalued
    • By Undervalued 10th Aug 18, 4:08 PM
    • 3,580 Posts
    • 3,265 Thanks
    Undervalued
    £350 +VAT is the standard charge. How many solicitors have you tried?
    Originally posted by lulu650
    Not round here it isn't. £500 was the norm even ten years ago! Back then, when it was called a compromise agreement, many employer were initially offering £250 and it was an enormous struggle to get any firm to do it for that. The largest employer always tried the £250 figure initially but could generally be persuaded to go to £500 without too much effort.
    Last edited by Undervalued; 10-08-2018 at 4:10 PM.
    • sangie595
    • By sangie595 10th Aug 18, 7:43 PM
    • 5,642 Posts
    • 9,752 Thanks
    sangie595
    Not round here it isn't. £500 was the norm even ten years ago! Back then, when it was called a compromise agreement, many employer were initially offering £250 and it was an enormous struggle to get any firm to do it for that. The largest employer always tried the £250 figure initially but could generally be persuaded to go to £500 without too much effort.
    Originally posted by Undervalued
    I also agree. I don't know any lawyers (worth paying) who would do it for £350. Not sure where it's the standard charge for, but nobody seems to have told local lawyers that!
    • lulu650
    • By lulu650 11th Aug 18, 10:31 AM
    • 924 Posts
    • 980 Thanks
    lulu650
    I should have said a straightforward SA. Hopefully the OP has agreed the price with his solicitor and is not racking up further charges
    Last edited by lulu650; 11-08-2018 at 10:43 AM.
    Saving money right, left and centre
    • sangie595
    • By sangie595 11th Aug 18, 10:56 AM
    • 5,642 Posts
    • 9,752 Thanks
    sangie595
    I should have said a straightforward SA. Hopefully the OP has agreed the price with his solicitor and is not racking up further charges
    Originally posted by lulu650
    Not even for a straightforward one! And this is in the North of England, not the South.
    • Undervalued
    • By Undervalued 11th Aug 18, 11:29 AM
    • 3,580 Posts
    • 3,265 Thanks
    Undervalued
    I should have said a straightforward SA. Hopefully the OP has agreed the price with his solicitor and is not racking up further charges
    Originally posted by lulu650
    OK the is the "rip off south" but I would be amazed if you found any solicitor willing to do it for that round here, however straightforward. As I said, £500 minimum 10 years ago when I was far more involved in this sort of thing.

    In addition to reading the document carefully they have to fully explain the implications to the client and establish enough about the situation to ensure that the client is not signing away a potentially far more lucrative settlement. They also have to carry specific insurance to cover the practice against getting it wrong.
    • palasmy
    • By palasmy 12th Aug 18, 8:05 AM
    • 172 Posts
    • 22 Thanks
    palasmy
    Thanks all for your comments.

    It seems little unfair, the negotiations with employer had to be wrapped up before you get the chance to get legal advice. Although this appears to be the standard practice, I don't see the rationale in it.

    In my case, only when I agreed the terms with my employer I was given the draft SA that I could show to the solicitor. So obviously when the solicitor highlights few points, one gets to wonder if the terms were fair or not. I'm not saying my package was poor however the whole process seems more in favor of the employer.

    The Solicitor fees are generally charged by hour, here in the south east, the rates varies between 285 to 500, but that is only for partners I think, not sure how much it would be for the solicitors(is there a huge difference between a partner & solicitor). Like in my case, when I phoned them up, the partner put me through to his solicitor and he offered to see me to have an initial discussion based on my email to him with a summary of my circumstances. That meeting lasted 30 minutes but he never said anything about the charge for that meeting. Although won't be surprised if he charges me should his attempts to make my package big becomes futile (as his hopes of making business out of this becomes non existent).

    Overall I'm not building my hopes massively, should the solicitor suggest to accept what my company says after his talks with company, then I will have to just agree and move on. I know our HR's abilities and won't be surprised if the solicitor gives in...

    I have not agreed for any payments to the solicitor more than what my company has agreed to pay them for reviewing the SA, which is 400 + VAT.
    • getmore4less
    • By getmore4less 12th Aug 18, 11:44 AM
    • 33,476 Posts
    • 20,229 Thanks
    getmore4less
    There is nothing preventing early representation.
    • sangie595
    • By sangie595 12th Aug 18, 12:34 PM
    • 5,642 Posts
    • 9,752 Thanks
    sangie595
    Are you sure you haven't agreed? What you think is not agreeing and what they think is surprising may not be the same thing. You are responsible for understanding the situation - you agreed to pay £xxx for reviewing the agreement. When they asked if you would like them to contact your employer, did you ask if that was included in the agreed price? Did toy ask if it would cost more?

    And as stated, you could have had a lawyer on retention at any time. Or a union official. The choice not to have was yours. So the fact that you only have representation now is your own fault. Why on earth would toy think that the employer is going to pay for a lawyer to represent you in negotiations against them? That is your responsibility.
    • palasmy
    • By palasmy 12th Aug 18, 8:57 PM
    • 172 Posts
    • 22 Thanks
    palasmy
    Are you sure you haven't agreed? What you think is not agreeing and what they think is surprising may not be the same thing. You are responsible for understanding the situation - you agreed to pay £xxx for reviewing the agreement. When they asked if you would like them to contact your employer, did you ask if that was included in the agreed price? Did toy ask if it would cost more?

    And as stated, you could have had a lawyer on retention at any time. Or a union official. The choice not to have was yours. So the fact that you only have representation now is your own fault. Why on earth would toy think that the employer is going to pay for a lawyer to represent you in negotiations against them? That is your responsibility.
    Originally posted by sangie595
    When I sent the email to the solicitor I clearly stated that I wanted him to first understand my circumstances before he agrees to meet me. And I mentioned this is an informal request only before we can start it off formally. So I really hope his consent to see me wasn't going to be billed!!

    Didn't realise an early legal representation was possible, we did discuss about union front but didn't occur to me I can get someone to represent me legally. Even so affordability would still be a question though!!
    • sangie595
    • By sangie595 12th Aug 18, 11:00 PM
    • 5,642 Posts
    • 9,752 Thanks
    sangie595
    When I sent the email to the solicitor I clearly stated that I wanted him to first understand my circumstances before he agrees to meet me. And I mentioned this is an informal request only before we can start it off formally. So I really hope his consent to see me wasn't going to be billed!!

    Didn't realise an early legal representation was possible, we did discuss about union front but didn't occur to me I can get someone to represent me legally. Even so affordability would still be a question though!!
    Originally posted by palasmy
    I'm sorry but what on earth do you think lawyers are - charities? There's no "informal" work. He had been billing you from the moment you contacted him. The piece of work he was retained to do was to read and advise you on the settlement agreement, which is all the employer will pay for. You asked him to contact your employer to negotiate a better settlement. The employer isn't going to pay for that, so you are the only person left who can be billed. Lawyers do not do work like this without expecting payment. Where do you think that payment is coming from?
    • palasmy
    • By palasmy 20th Aug 18, 11:13 PM
    • 172 Posts
    • 22 Thanks
    palasmy
    Hello All, just as an update, my last day at work was last friday and today is my first day at home without a job!! however as per the agreement I'm still on the pay roll for the next 11 weeks (my notice period)

    Basically, my solicitor phoned me up on wednesday to say that the company didn't budge for his arguments and suggested it would be best for me to accept what they give. So, it wasn't too difficult for me to make a decision after that. I signed the papers and then the solicitors did their bit, and the next day the company representative signed it.

    I have started to prepare my CV and also working around my network to see what are the possibilities to find a job before my notice period ends.

    I would like to thank all those who have been with me through this period here by giving me their view and comments/suggestions. I have to admit it was really very helpful and prepared me in the best possible way for such a circumstance.

    Thanks again all..
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