£31,000 Settlement Agreement in Age Discrimination Case

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Author:
Aneil Balgobin
Partner, Head of Employment Law
Date:
25/04/2019

Client Situation

Our client, an employee in London with over 25 years’ loyal service for a financial institution was being discriminated in the workplace on the grounds of age.

Our client had agreed with their employer that they would retire and leave the company with a termination payment on a given date.

However our client’s line manager subsequently asked whether he could assist the company and push back the termination date. Our client agreed with the desire to help the company and with the understanding that the termination payment still stood which was confirmed in email.

Prior to the revised termination date, further requests from HR and our client’s line manager were made to further put back the termination date which was agreed by our client with the initial termination payment remaining; the only thing that was not agreed with the employer was the exact termination date.

During all this time our client behaved in an exemplary manner throughout, including providing training to his successor to ensure a smooth handover.

Conscious of not having a set retirement date and with an important family event taking place abroad, our client requested annual leave which was approved by their line manager but this was then revoked by the HR Director on the grounds that it exceeded the company’s standard maximum term of 2 weeks.

This caused our client undue stress which impacted his health negatively. 

How We Helped

Phone calls were held with the client outside normal business hours to try to help him alleviate stress and to agree a plan of action.

Our Employment Solicitors contested that our client was being discriminated on the grounds of age, and that he was led by his employer to reasonably believe that he would be retired by the time the holiday was due, he had received official approval for annual leave from his line manager as contingency, had already paid for the holiday at significant cost and our client was aware of other employees being granted annual leave that exceeded the standard two weeks holiday for similar reasons. The Human Resources staff member who cancelled his holiday knew he had already paid for tickets.

At this point we raised two grievance letters to the employer with over 25 separate grievances and/or questions on behalf of the client. 

The Outcome

Due to our Employment Solicitors’ advice and assistance the client received his booked holidays and holiday pay. 

The Employer took the client’s retirement and payment package off the table, and told him he could leave without a payoff if he wanted to retire.

Our Employment Solicitors successfully intervened and achieved a Settlement Agreement payment of over £31,000 which was more than the initial termination payment, and negotiated an open work reference should the client require one in the future.

Aneil Balgobin was BRILLIANT!!! Aneil was so informative and kept me up to date throughout the whole process. He returned emails and calls within the hour and made me feel at ease throughout. Would highly recommend Aneil and the whole Simpson Millar team. THANK YOU!!!!!

Andrew
TrustPilot

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