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    • Billy74
    • By Billy74 5th Dec 17, 10:48 PM
    • 8Posts
    • 0Thanks
    Worth going to tribunal?
    • #1
    • 5th Dec 17, 10:48 PM
    Worth going to tribunal? 5th Dec 17 at 10:48 PM
    Hi all, hoping for a little advice...

    After 4 years of a rolling 12-month contract my employer has decided they will not renew my contract into the 5th year. They have already advertised the role.

    I'm aware that after 4 years a temporary position becomes permanent automatically, and that failure to renew after 2 years is considered dismissal in law.

    My employer has no reason not to renew. No disciplinary issues, no action plans, nothing. The reason in writing is very ambiguous and refers to 'failure to achieve targets' that don't exist. I was also told (verbally) they were unwilling for me to become permanent. In reality it's actually due to a little friction between me and a new manager over some minor incidental issues, and he sees this as his chance to get rid.

    I'm convinced this would qualify as unfair dismissal and have therefore considered a tribunal. However - from what I can see a tribunal could only award 4 x weeks capped at 489, plus a small compensatory payment if they saw fit.

    Thing is, the company have offered 2 months' basic salary as a 'goodwill' gesture - about 6k. Unless I'm missing something, this is more than I would most likely be awarded if successful at tribunal, and that's before costs, time, hassle, etc.

    Anyone able to offer advice please? Is it worth pursuing?

    Last edited by Billy74; 05-12-2017 at 10:52 PM.
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    • sangie595
    • By sangie595 6th Dec 17, 7:14 AM
    • 4,553 Posts
    • 7,641 Thanks
    • #2
    • 6th Dec 17, 7:14 AM
    • #2
    • 6th Dec 17, 7:14 AM
    You are correct - about 6k or a little more is the average tribunal award, so you may get more, you may get less, and you may get nothing. Your own calculations are based on the premise of redundancy - this is not a redundancy. So an unfair dismissal claim - IF you won - may be worth a little more, possibly even double what you have been offered.

    Unless the goodwill gesture comes with a settlement agreement, you can do both! Whether you want to or not is another matter. You obviously don't want to continue to work there, so the money PLUS a glowing reference that is mutually agreed may be a consideration. A good reference is something a tribunal can't award, and a good reference is money in the bank when it comes to job hunting. Or you may choose to haggle for a higher goodwill gesture as well as a reference. If they are keen to avoid litigation and this was their initial offer, they may offer more - and you may have little to lose by asking for more. But you know the employer and your chances of successfully pushing this, whilst we don't.
    • Crazy Jamie
    • By Crazy Jamie 6th Dec 17, 9:26 AM
    • 2,143 Posts
    • 2,056 Thanks
    Crazy Jamie
    • #3
    • 6th Dec 17, 9:26 AM
    • #3
    • 6th Dec 17, 9:26 AM
    If you succeed in an unfair dismissal case at the Employment Tribunal, you will generally be entitled to recover both a basic award and a compensatory award. The calculation that you have mentioned is the basic award, which as sangie says is the same as a statutory redundancy payment. Your statement that the Tribunal can award further compensation 'if they saw fit' is perhaps painting the situation in a more pessimistic light than it warrants. The compensatory award reflects out of pocket expenses, the bulk of which is traditionally made up with loss of wages. If you are to bring a claim you have a legal obligation to mitigate your loss, which essentially means taking reasonable steps to find another job, but providing you have done so you will likely have a good argument to recover most if not all of your lost wages in the interim, and those could well be substantially more than the basic award.

    That said, that is not necessarily an argument that should convince you to pursue a claim. If you're confident of finding a new job quickly, the better option may in fact be to take the offer and move on. As you've noted, that also means you avoid the stress and effort of litigation, which is no small consideration. As obvious as it sounds, you also need to win to recover compensation, and you may not. As much as your case sounds like a decent one from what you've said, even those who are legally qualified on this forum wouldn't have nearly the information required to give a proper assessment of your prospects of success. And even if you do succeed, there is no guarantee what compensation will actually be awarded.

    You might recover more money by issuing a claim, but that is also a time consuming and often stressful process with no guarantee of success. In reality taking their offer (or perhaps even negotiating a slightly higher one) with an agreed reference and drawing a line in the sand may simply be the better option for you, especially if you're confident of securing another job quickly. Ultimately this is for you to balance the different options and take the one that works best for you.
    • getmore4less
    • By getmore4less 6th Dec 17, 9:37 AM
    • 32,035 Posts
    • 19,222 Thanks
    • #4
    • 6th Dec 17, 9:37 AM
    • #4
    • 6th Dec 17, 9:37 AM
    You also have to consider that if you push too hard or threaten an ET they always have the option to just renew the contract.
    • steampowered
    • By steampowered 6th Dec 17, 9:46 AM
    • 2,488 Posts
    • 2,409 Thanks
    • #5
    • 6th Dec 17, 9:46 AM
    • #5
    • 6th Dec 17, 9:46 AM
    The size of the compensatory award would largely depend on how long it takes you to find another job.

    If you can find another job in a month, the bulk of the compensatory award would be 1 month's salary.

    If it takes you 6 months (despite you proving you were trying your best to search) the compensatory award would be much higher.

    If you are able to find another job reasonably quickly I think that 2 month's salary is a reasonable offer. You could ask for an agreed reference on top.
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