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Mediation bias concern

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  • Mediation bias concern

    Last year I was offered a change to my contract of employment. I didn't sign it and a couple of months later the offer was withdrawn. I was then informed that the organisation wanted a change to my position stating that I had been in post for a long time. I should say that I earn about £12.50 an hour so not a lot but I do have a lot of responsibility. Anyway, the next thing that happens is I'm asked to a mediation session with an HR professional and a director of the organisation I work for. This was strange but the result of that meeting was the arrangement of another session with an "independent" mediator. I went to that second session where the independent mediator told us what the employer wanted. He then asked what I wanted from the session. I told him many sensitive things and the history of my employment from my viewpoint.

    After a day of mediation the two sides had an outline agreement but it meant that I would leave my post next year with a pay off of statuary redundancy. I was not particularly happy with many of things that were said in the mediation sessions and although there was a "without prejudice" agreement nothing has yet been signed.

    This week I find out that the "independent" mediator is a director of a law firm that has been advising my employer on employment contracts for my colleagues and that the law firm has been handsomely paid for their services.

    I find this quite disturbing given that I understood the advice I was being given by the independent mediator was in my interest. It isn't money I want out of this whole fiasco but I do want what is right and I do want fairness. I have given over 20 years of my life to this organisation and have an unimpeachable record. I don't have much money to spend on an employment lawyer and feel quite stressed by the whole episode. I just want to know how I can get redress for what I think has been incredibly unfair.

    If anyone can suggest what I do next I would be ever so thankful.
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  • #2
    Do you know if they were trying to agree terms for you to leave under a Settlement Agreement? A Settlement Agreement (SA) is a document which set out the terms of what the company is going to pay you as “compensation” for you giving up any rights you have to make a subsequent claim against your employer.

    If so, then part of the process of signing a SA is that you will be required to take independent legal advice from an employment law specialist. Part of their job is to ensure that the "compensation" being offered is at the correct level given the circumstances and the rights that you are giving up to bring any further claims. If they go not feel you are being offered enough "compensation" then they would have to negotiate with your employer to increase the sum being offered.

    Most employment advisers have a standard payment for providing this advice which is between £350 and £500 which is generally the rate that the employer offers to pay. This is usually enough to cover the costs if the SA is straight forward and there is not much back and forth negotiating terms on your behalf. They can then best advise as to what you should reasonable expect to receive and negotiate accordingly.
    If you would like a one-to-one expert consultation with me on your employment issue than I can be contacted by emailing admin@legalbeaglesgroup.com

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