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Compromise agreement

Discussion in 'Workplace dilemmas' started by Jenna1972, May 16, 2012.

  1. Jenna1972

    Jenna1972 New commenter

    Hi
    Does anyone know what happens next when a school is approached by a Union to organise a compromise agreement and the school reject the idea of it?
    Thanks in advance.
     
  2. AlwaysAdaptable

    AlwaysAdaptable New commenter


    Depends on why you would want a compromise agreement. Have you been put on a support plan, has informal capability been mentioned. I can't see how a school refuse a CA as they would hide a multitude of sins, especially if the school have done something wrong. The best people to advice you are Gardening Leave and Torey. If you don't want to divulge too much on here send them a PM.
     
  3. Have the school rejected the idea of a CA, or just the one your union suggested? Do you know? If it's the latter, they school might just want to decrease the payout or bring the leaving date forward.
     
  4. Jenna1972

    Jenna1972 New commenter

    Thanks for yor reply AlwaysAdaptable. I don't really want to go into why I want it on here as it would identify me but I will approach Gardening Leave and Torey. Good idea!
     
  5. Jenna1972

    Jenna1972 New commenter

    Hi spool. Thanks for your reply. I don't know actually whether its the idea of a CA orwhat the Union suggested that they have rejected. Knowing my school it's the whole idea, but I will find out from my Union tomorrow. Thank you!
     
  6. Torey

    Torey Occasional commenter

    Thank you for that, but I'm afraid I have no experience of CAs. I went down the legal route. I would say that if the school are saying no that your union finds out why and what could be put in place to resolve the situation. It may be that you don't have enough evidence to gain a pay out, but you could agree on a reference.
     
  7. Have sent you a p.m. I'd agree with Torey that the union should find out why and that they are the ones to negotiate.
    I guess money will be playing a part (on both sides), and the school might be hoping to see if you'll resign (much cheaper for them - obviously!) by 31st May if they hold out for a bit longer.

     
  8. A CA is a parting of the ways by mutual consent, on a no-blame basis. In exchange for giving up the right to take further action, such as litigation or a claim at an Employment Tribunal, the teacher typically receives a lump sum equivalent to 1 to 6 months' pay, and an agreed reference. It is a legally binding agreement that usually also includes a gagging clause that constrains both sides. It is usually negotiated formally by union officials if the school and teacher have agreed this to be the best course of action for both sides. However a school is under no obligation to offer a CA or to agree to one. The key principle is as set out in my first sentence. If, as the OP has stated, the school has rejected it then there is little basis for a CA.
     
  9. Jenna1972

    Jenna1972 New commenter

    Thanks everyone for your replies. You are right iconoclastic, it is the case that school have rejected the idea. My Union is onto it but I wondered if anyone here knows of possible next steps.
     
  10. I know of one recent occasion where a person facing disciplinary action was definitely offered a CA and an agreed reference instead of continuing with the disciplinary process. They had to accept culpability for allegations made against them and withdraw the right to defend themselves from the allegation. They were told that their reason for leaving the job would still be passed on to GTC-teaching agency-ISA etc. I agree that scenario's like this seem to undermine the purpose of CA's
     
  11. Jackspeak said that agencies do not accept agreed
    references that are part of CAs for safeguarding reasons. CAs have
    "without prejudice" printed on the very top, before anything else is
    written. If an agency treats part of a legal document signed under no
    prejudice with prejudice, I am sure this fulfills the criteria of
    discrimination.
    Hm. This sounds very dodgy to me. First of all because of the above, because a CA is signed with "no prejudice". Then, it usually contains what is commonly known as a "gagging clause", which forbids both parties to talk about the issue (or, indeed to say "not nice" things about each other in general). As a CA is a legal document, how could the school after this pass on anything to anybody?
    And finally, why would anyone agree to sign a CA under these terms and conditions? If the GTC is notified of the disciplinary, the teacher is better off not signing the CA, take their chances and possibly go to ET later. The GTC might throw the case out, or it might fail even in the school and then the teacher will still have a job and can put in a grievance or do a few other things. Likewise if a school has a strong case, why would they want to sign a CA when they can get rid of the teacher for free? What you say, Jackspeak, sounds to me like a disciplinary started by an overzealous school that later realised they don't have a strong enough case, and then tricked the teacher into signing something by which the school could have their cake and eat it, too.
     
  12. I entirely agree with you and the person decided not to go with the CA offer and attended a disciplinary instead in order to have a chance to defend them-self from the allegations. This CA solution was urged by their union. It was not a solution, I think it was proposed in order to spare the school and the union from fighting the dodgy disciplinary case and the time and expense of a futile, distressing procedure. In the end the person received more than twice as much compensation and they were exonerated- so - there's a cautionary tale about modern CA agreements.
     
  13. Rott Weiler

    Rott Weiler Star commenter Forum guide

    This website states: "We do not accept agreed references". Whether the agency can guess that it's an agreed reference would probably be irrelevant as I imagine they ask you directly whether it was an agreed reference. If it is agreed you aren't allowed to lie and say ‘no' just because the CA itself has a confidentiality clause in it. References can be agreed in circumstances other than a CA.
    I don't understand this. ‘Without prejudice' is a court procedural rule about the admissibility of evidence in civil cases, discrimination in employment occurs by breaching the Equality Act. How are the two linked? What protected characteristic under the Equality Act is held by someone because they have a CA?
    A CA is private legal contract between the school and the employee. It doesn't take precedence over the school's general obligation to comply with the law so if the school was legally obliged to inform the GTC or ISA it must do so irrespective of what a CA says. From September the DFE are bringing in regulations that say that if any future employer asks the school if a teacher has been subject to capability procedure the school has to say so. The school will have a legal obligation to do this even if there is a CA and it isn't in the agreed reference.

     
  14. My understanding of the "no prejudice" thing is that it pertains to the document offered ie the CA before it has been signed. It is like an off the record discussion to try to solve a dispute . If the CA is not agreed and signed, the document may not be used later in court proceedings as evidence to prove against the side offering it.
     
  15. Crowbob

    Crowbob Lead commenter

    Sorry, but you fundamentally misunderstand the concept of discrimination, as it applies in English law....
     
  16. I accept this, if you say so, Crowbob. But I would surely be looking for action if a teaching agency said they did not accept my agreed reference for safeguarding reasons while the CA has "without prejudice" printed on top of it...
     
  17. "Without prejudice" has nothing to do with discrimination. It means no reference can be made to it in any subsequent proceedings and as such allows both sides to negotiate without fear of the negotiations being given in evidence. Discrimination refers to detriments in relation to protected characteristics, such as age, religion or disabilities.I don't think it helps posters with challenging career issues to be offered advice on the basis of uninformed assumptions.
     
  18. Again this shows a lack of understanding. "Without prejudice" refers to draft proposals that may NOT be quoted. The words disappear when the CA has been agreed by both sides and becomes a legally binding agreement
     
  19. No, they don't. Believe me, I know. So I'm afraid this shows a lack of understanding on your part.
    Also, iconoclastic, let me point it out to you that this is not a message board where lawyers give advice they are legally responsible for - and all participants know this. Here people give advice mostly on the basis of experiences they have had themselves or people close to them have had.
     
  20. Torey

    Torey Occasional commenter

    But your comment about discrimination wasn't based on experience or you wouldn't have made it. When we give advice we don't have a legal responsibility, but we do have a moral responsibility to make sure it is accurate or make it clear that is only what we think.
     

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