An HR business partner working in a commercial bank
To secure a package for an employee which adequately compensated her for the discriminatory treatment she had suffered and the resulting unfair loss of her employment
Situation And Challenge
Our client was a working mother in a busy HR department, with an existing flexible working arrangement.
After a change in line management, her flexible working arrangement was not being respected by her employer and she was regularly having to work on her non-working days or having to stay late after her agreed finish time, making her late to collect her daughter from nursery.
Whilst our client did not mind working outside of her contracted hours from time to time, the excessive workload was causing her a great deal of stress. When she raised this with her line manager she was told that he did not think flexible working arrangements worked and that her coming to him to discuss the situation was evidence of that. Other similarly discriminatory comments were made to our client by her line manager on a not infrequent basis.
Our client felt she was being pushed out of the organisation because she worked flexibly. She approached us as she was considering resigning and she wanted to ensure that she did so in a way which best protected her interests.
We submitted a detailed written grievance on our client’s behalf under her employer’s formal grievance policy. This clearly set out each of the individual allegations of discriminatory conduct and placed the employer on notice of her potential sex discrimination claim and constructive unfair dismissal claim.
We advised our client on what to expect from the process so that she could prepare herself. We were able to explain some of the more intimidating steps which her employer might take, as we advise both employers and employees and so understand the tactics from both sides. This enabled our client to be more confident and assertive in dealing with the grievance procedure.
The employer did not uphold our client’s grievance which resulted in her submitting a claim to the employment tribunal. Following receipt of our client’s claims, her employer approached us via ACAS to engage in settlement discussions. As a result, we secured a generous financial settlement for our client.
In addition, we secured confidentiality and non-derogatory comments clauses in the COT3 settlement agreement to ensure that our client would not be badmouthed in the market place as well as the provision of outplacement to help her find an alternative role.
Our client recovered a large proportion of her legal fees from the company under the settlement agreement.
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