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My employer has already started a disciplinary process – does this make a difference?
If your employer has already started a disciplinary process against you then this may, or may not, affect your ability to negotiate a settlement agreement (or the terms of the agreement) – for example:
If you have, by your own admission, committed an act of gross misconduct in the workplace (for example, if you’ve sexually harassed another colleague) then this reduces the chance that your employer may wish to offer you a settlement agreement (although it does not eliminate it) – your employer may, in such circumstances, feel under pressure to continue with the investigation or it may wish to set an example in terms of how it deals with you. However, it is not always the case that an employer will not be willing to offer a settlement agreement if you’ve engaged in serious misconduct, and our lawyers have certainly dealt with cases where settlement agreements have been offered (and negotiated) where an employee has accepted that they’ve engaged in serious misconduct in the workplace;
If you’ve been accused of misconduct in the workplace and you deny the allegation (or, alternatively, if you don’t deny it but the alleged misconduct is minor in nature): in this case you have a better chance of negotiating settlement agreement terms with your employer, particularly if you have more than two years’ continuous employment with them, as you may be able to assert a claim for unfair dismissal against your employer; or
If the disciplinary allegations being put to you are a sham and your employer is engaging in a sham disciplinary process: this could lead to a potential claim for unfair dismissal by you (if you have more than two years’ continuous employment) and/or a claim of discrimination if you think that you are being discriminated against by your employer (e.g. if you think that the reason why you’re being subjected to a disciplinary is because of your race or sex etc.)
The above list isn’t exhaustive, and other situations could potentially apply, so get in touch with us if you’d like to discuss further.
Redmans Limited is a company registered in England and Wales with registration number 05872980, VAT GB893856068, and registered office Parkshot House, 5 Kew Road, Richmond, TW9 2PR. Settlement Agreement Lawyer is a firm of solicitors authorized and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA number: 468098).