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Settlement agreement as DHT

Discussion in 'Workplace dilemmas' started by Wonky1, Jan 15, 2019.

  1. Wonky1

    Wonky1 New commenter

    Having worked tirelessly under Informal Capability since November my Head has fed back to me that he intends to go to Formal at the end of the process. I have felt so upset I have not been back to school since he told me this. My union are supporting me well and have suggested a settlement may be a good idea. Can anyone tell me the amount and conditions that have been offered? I have been dht for several years. My mental health is suffering as a result of the excessive stress i have been enduring. Would being off sick help or hinder?
  2. digoryvenn

    digoryvenn Lead commenter

    Your union is the best person to help you. Have a think about how much money you would like and the union will ask the employer for you. You may or may not get the amount you ask for.

    Your union will go through all the conditions of a settlement agreement and you will be given an agreed reference. Think carefully about the content of your reference especially if you want to continue teaching.

    Good luck and keep strong as it is a very unpleasant experience.
  3. Wonky1

    Wonky1 New commenter

    Thanks for your response. The union have been good so far but are now suggesting I am not in a strong negotiating position. It is making me feel so ill . I know I cannot work so part of me wants to take time off on full pay rather than simply leave
  4. ridleyrumpus

    ridleyrumpus Star commenter

    If you are sick you are sick and only you and your Dr can decide on that.

    Tricky for people to suggest amounts and conditions offered unless they were offers that they declined, NDA apply.

    In many cases though I would suspect it depends on the reasons it has been decided you are incapable and your defence to that.
  5. thebluehouse

    thebluehouse New commenter

    The settlement agreement may be estimated on the length of notice period plus a certain amount. So, for example, it might be the equivalent salary until Easter plus a bit more for the stress. But, as others have said, the union should deal with all of this .
    I am surprised your Union have said you may not be fit to negotiate.... the negotiations are all in writing so it only entails reading a document and it is between personnel services who represent the school and you and your Union rep.

    As a DHT myself, I would find it difficult to be in school in those circumstances, however, once again, your Union should be advising you/supporting you in this. Presumably, you might be looking for another job and you need to be in an emotionally strong enough position to get one and, tbh, that is your main priority. If this is the route you are going down, there is no longer any investment in them now.

    Is there proper performance management notes in place to back this decision?

    Good luck and take care.
    JohnJCazorla likes this.
  6. Rott Weiler

    Rott Weiler Star commenter Forum guide

    If you are signed off sick it will make little or no difference to whether the school is willing to offer you a Settlement Agreement. Your union is best placed to say whether the school might be willing to offer a SA - they don't have to offer you anything, no-one is entitled to a SA.

    Stories of people receiving large sums under SAs are exceptional, few people get more than 3 months salary and that typically includes pay they would have received during a notice period if they had stayed. Your union think your negotiating position for an SA is weak so I'll guess the school will not offer much. Even if the money is little more than pay in lieu of notice an SA can still be worth it for the agreed reference and the ability (hopefully) to make a clean break.
    JohnJCazorla likes this.
  7. Wonky1

    Wonky1 New commenter

    Thanks all. It is important not to overlook the reference side of things too ..... useful reminders here.
    I just feel I should be compensated for a loss of leadership post in a school I love and have often prioritised at the expense of my personal life. I have not done anything other than work hard and try my best for the children and it grieves me that I am being made to walk the plank and expected to smile and wave as I go.
  8. FrankWolley

    FrankWolley Star commenter

    I have sent you a private message (aka 'Conversation').
  9. grumpydogwoman

    grumpydogwoman Star commenter

    A Settlement Agreement often comes when an employer would rather pay you off than have you take them to an Employment Tribunal.

    What could you take to Tribunal?

    Unequal pay
    Breach of contract
    Unfair dismissal etc etc etc


    So. Which of these is your case? Has the employer any right to fear you can take them to Tribunal?

    The other reason they might go for SA is just convenience. They want rid. For their own reasons. No reflection on your professionalism at all. These things happen. Frequently. So don't beat yourself up. But they still would probably be keen for you to go. So then it becomes a haggle. You could dig your heels in and stay and force them to go through all the hoops or you could save them time and jump ship. With some extra pay and a good reference as compensation for saving them a load of bother.

    If they've been naughty and you can prove it then you stand to negotiate a bigger award. But can you? What says the union? I'm thinking they are not very optimistic on that.

    So you're option B. Go quickly and quietly. You won't get a big deal. Maybe the equivalent of three months pay. Which will be taxed. And the reference. I wouldn't expect much more than that. And even that may be pushing it.

    Trust your union. Really. I'm sorry but I think the best you'll get is a very few quid and the reference and the opportunity to get your life back with some dignity. Quickly and quietly. And a fresh start. But trust the union.
  10. Wonky1

    Wonky1 New commenter

    There are a few odd things that took place under the previous Head. I've made the union aware so they can use in negotiation.
    I realise sums may be low but like all teaching colleagues I have given that school my absolute all, put the needs if the students above my own family and they are content to kick me out. I'm a good person with a lot of strengths that they are unwilling to see.
    I'm gutted.
  11. grumpydogwoman

    grumpydogwoman Star commenter

    These few odd things?

    Trouble is the union doesn't think they add up to a strong case. Your words.

    And you're expensive. And your face, for whatever reason, no longer fits. Life has been made awkward for you. I know it's not fair. I know it's infuriating. I know it's a blow to you, personally and professionally. But their guns are bigger than your guns, I fear.

    If you'd been urged to fight? Then I'd go along with it. Exasperating and unjust as it may be? I don't think you're equipped for the fight. Again. I'm sorry.
  12. FredfromFrance

    FredfromFrance New commenter

    Stay strong! So many of us have been through it. It's not fair, but the thing is your face doesn't fit. Try not to take it personally (although that is pretty rubbish advice!)

    Stand up and fight and remember that you have lots of moral support on here!
    sabrinakat and grumpydogwoman like this.
  13. marymoocow

    marymoocow Star commenter

    I don't know if you want to remain in teaching or may consider something outside of the classroom either education based or something totally different. With my agreed reference I ensured that any experiences that would fit a non school based job were also highlighted, so I had a reference that was strong for lots of different jobs. Think what you would consider doing as a job if you don't return to teaching.
    I had nearly a year of sick leave before leaving with approx 3 months SA and an agreed ref. Whatever happens and as awful as this feels, there is light at the end of the tunnel, so put your health first. In 2 years time in will be a horrible memory in the past and you will have moved on from this.
    8sycamore and grumpydogwoman like this.
  14. squashua

    squashua Occasional commenter

    Hmm, cynical about the idea that we should always "trust the union". My school rep is great, but the local rep was dire and, having told me to bring a grievance, then stopped returning emails or phone calls. She had said HT was discriminating against me and it could be a tribunal if I wanted it to (I didn't) and that I had to do grievance even if I didn't. When LA contacted her about grievance, she told me to drop it and said the union was going to withdraw representation and that regional thought I had a bad case.

    I contacted regional to ask why. They had never heard of me. They agreed to take my case and pay for legal representation. Luckily, I already had legal advice through house insurance. Regional rep was ace and took over my case in terms of meetings.

    So, no. You can't always trust your union rep, sadly. And my "bad case" was successful at the Tribunal. She just didn't do her job and got scared when it got serious.

    Having had this experience, I know how damaging being in a school that doesn't want you there can be. Only you can know if there is a possible way through it or if you would rather cut your losses and have a new start. Good luck.
  15. lindenlea

    lindenlea Star commenter

    I do indeed know how hard to it is to accept that your head is on the block but I think that is what you've got to do. Go with your dignity, take what's on offer and get over it. Your health is the most important thing and refusing to let go will only do yourself more damage. Start planning what you will do next. Chin up, look ahead, get rid of them, you don't need them . Its over.
    grumpydogwoman likes this.
  16. thejudgesscoresarein

    thejudgesscoresarein Established commenter

    Tough situation to be in, but I think you need to approach your union representative for advice. I think though in the long run, you do need to get yourself out of this school and start afresh, even if you step down from the DHT role for a few years, then move back into the role when your mental health is better.
    I know many deputies and assistant heads that have suffered from anxiety and ended up stepping down to get their health right, don’t feel like it’s career damaging, because it’s not.

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