Have been offered a settlement to leave a company after exended sickness

Discussion in 'Employment & HR' started by Jamesxms, Apr 3, 2018.

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  1. Jamesxms

    Jamesxms UKBF Newcomer

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    Hello everyone,

    I am employed by a large company and was in a very stressful position. 3 years ago I began suffering with a mental illness that prevented me from returning to work. During this extended time of absence my employer split the paying of my wages with an insurance company who required me to visit cognitive meetings with psychiatrists once a year.

    My mental illness has not improved and as a result I have been offered a 'pay off' by the insurance company to leave the company. This pay-off is the equivalent of 6 years salary after tax (so quite a sizeable amount).

    Although I have never told my employer this, I hold them solely responsible for my mental illness. The stress they placed me under during my 10 year employment with them was excessive and destroyed my life. I have always thought that they felt the same, as they have generally given me a wide berth and not pushed me to return or asked me how I was feeling. That said, I think if I were to tell them that I held them accountable, they would probably withdraw the offer and 'lawyer up'.

    I do't know whether I should be seeking legal advice at this point, or just accept the offer and hope that someday I can get back on my feet again.

    Furthermore, I would like to know if I am legally entitled to any holiday payment from my employer for the holiday I did not use in the year I was still active at the company?

    Thanks in advance for any advice.
     
    Posted: Apr 3, 2018 By: Jamesxms Member since: Apr 3, 2018
    #1
  2. Gordon - Commercial Finance

    Gordon - Commercial Finance UKBF Legend

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    Without knowing the ins and outs and legality all that well, I think I would bite their hand off for 6 years salary.
    Last thing you need hanging over you is the possibility of court etc. Clean break might be just what you need.
     
    Posted: Apr 3, 2018 By: Gordon - Commercial Finance Member since: Jun 26, 2017
    #2
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  3. GraemeL

    GraemeL Pain in the neck? Verified Business ✔️

    5,227 1,156
    If you have never mentioned it, then bite their hand off for the settlement.

    In fact even if you have, take the settlement.

    Unless you want more heartache?
     
    Posted: Apr 3, 2018 By: GraemeL Member since: Sep 7, 2011
    #3
  4. Mr D

    Mr D UKBF Legend

    28,576 3,551
    To think the best I've had was a months incapacity benefit (8 months SSP had finished by then). About £70 a week at the time. Which I got whether I was employed still or not.
    To get offered multiple years salary? I'm shocked.
     
    Posted: Apr 3, 2018 By: Mr D Member since: Feb 12, 2017
    #4
  5. paulears

    paulears UKBF Legend

    4,979 1,364
    Take the money! Don't forget that stress is something some people thrive on while others cannot take. Stress is not always bad - so in any action, somebody would have to look at the job, the pay, the status etc and decide. This won't help you. Grab the money, move on and be happy!
     
    Posted: Apr 3, 2018 By: paulears Member since: Jan 7, 2015
    #5
  6. Gecko001

    Gecko001 UKBF Legend

    2,841 450
    Most insurance companies do not have "lawyer up". They have their own in house lawyers and very deep pockets to enable them to hire the best barristers if the case ever came to court.
     
    Posted: Apr 3, 2018 By: Gecko001 Member since: Apr 21, 2011
    #6
  7. Newchodge

    Newchodge UKBF Legend

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    There is no harm in seeking independent legal advice on this offer. Indeed, as they will want you to sign a disclaimer to state that you ahve no case against your employer, you probably have to have legal advice.

    Do not raise the issue with your employer. Go and see a lawyer.

    While you have been on sick leave you will have accrued holiday pay every year.
     
    Posted: Apr 3, 2018 By: Newchodge Member since: Nov 8, 2012
    #7
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  8. KAC

    KAC UKBF Legend

    1,529 368
    Normally you are required to seek independent legal advice before signing a settlement agreement and that advice will normally be paid for by the employer. Googling it brings up lots of advice
     
    Posted: Apr 4, 2018 By: KAC Member since: May 7, 2017
    #8
  9. ethical PR

    ethical PR UKBF Legend

    7,478 1,641

    This isn't relevant to the OP's question he was talking about the company who works for, not the insurance company.
     
    Posted: Apr 4, 2018 By: ethical PR Member since: Apr 19, 2009
    #9
  10. Chris Ashdown

    Chris Ashdown UKBF Legend

    12,403 2,605
    At the end of the day the company can let you go at any time, its fantastic that they have stood by you over this time frame

    It does not sound like you will be ever able to go back to the same job and stress involved in it, and a six year offer of full pay seems to be a great chance to start again with financial security, you can even start again on your own selling something on the internet which can be quite stress free if you chose the right items to sell and grow it over time or just take up a less stressful job
     
    Posted: Apr 4, 2018 By: Chris Ashdown Member since: Dec 7, 2003
    #10
  11. strikingedge

    strikingedge UKBF Ace

    462 112
    You should take legal advice. While the company would normally contribute to your legal expenses, I don't know if the insurer is under a similar obligation. No harm in asking if they'll contribute.

    I think (and this is worth checking) that an insurance pay out is tax free. However, it might not be if it isn't done right, which is a good reason to get that legal advice!

    Your lawyer could also try and negotiate it up a bit. If they've offered 6 years, perhaps they will go to 7 if they're asked in the right way.
     
    Posted: Apr 4, 2018 By: strikingedge Member since: Jan 25, 2009
    #11
  12. Jeff Nev

    Jeff Nev UKBF Contributor

    219 24
    While their offer is generous and provides you with a sustained period of financial security, it is imperative that you seek the services of Settlement Agreement solicitors who will be able to advise you on the best course of action to undertake. I found this excellent resource, which I hope will provide some clarity on your situation - http://www.ms-solicitors.co.uk/employee/settlement-agreements/

    I wish you the very best of luck.

    - Jeff
     
    Posted: Apr 18, 2018 By: Jeff Nev Member since: Nov 14, 2013
    #12
  13. Yvonne Guerineau

    Yvonne Guerineau UKBF Newcomer

    14 1
    In my 15 years+ in HR I've never settled that high. It's pretty rare. That suggests to me that you are either of an age likely to struggle to find work or that your health is likely to affect your ability to work in the future. The idea is that the money bridges the gap. I hope for you that it becomes savings that you enjoy rather than need.

    On the subject of now putting blame at the door of the company, it seems very odd to suffer for 3 years and say nothing when you are being seen by a therapist. I'm not sure how credible you will look raising it now. It is entirely your right to do so and to get legal advice of course BUT remember that any settlement process can only be signed once you have sought legal advice anyway...i.e someone has told you what you are signing. That protects employees from being forced into signing things. The settlement agreement is also signed by your legal adviser. The company generally put money towards that advice to facilitate the process but won't choose the legal adviser for you given the conflict of interest.

    Good luck.
     
    Posted: Apr 19, 2018 By: Yvonne Guerineau Member since: Apr 18, 2018
    #13
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