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Settlement Agreements

Discussion in 'Workplace dilemmas' started by Sally006, Jul 19, 2019.

  1. Sally006

    Sally006 Occasional commenter

    Can anyone advise as to the likely remuneration financially someone might get with a SA?

    I have tried hard at returning to work after 5 months of WRS and without going into details have been treated very shabbily by my HT. more out of incompetence than malice. Though my OH reports says protection under the 2010 Disabilities Act would apply in my case, my treatment, and failure of my line manager to adequately protect my mental health, has resulted in a massive relapse.

    When the cracks started to show, instead of care and concern, every word spoken on the subject face to face , or email sent received a response that was insensitive and dismissive. When I reminded them that I had been made ill as a direct result of WRS which is indeed a wider climate/culture than any individual (though I did received parental harassment and bullying) the response was “well I didn’t cause that personally”. Missing the point entirely. Final day today, final twist of the knife from parents when left exposed. I had no protection. Fortunately, was not responsible teaching class today but in for Leavers/Retirement celebrations. Tears and completely ignored by HT not even a “Is something the matter?” was said.

    Can’t go into details but after 6 months of work by medical profession, self help in getting back to work my world has collapsed again. I am struggling to see how I can possibly continue to work in that environment. Had 5 months off on full pay. Went back, negotiated (painfully I might add) to go back part time in September and now back to square one.

    Where do I go from here? Do I try to get out with a SA? Money will be a real problem for me. What cushion will a SA give me? 52. Who the hell will employ me now?
  2. veneris

    veneris New commenter

    There is always an option, even when it all seems too bleak and you can't see one.
    It's unlikely in the current financial climate that you'll get more than three months full pay but that's a start. Your union might have a battle to get that as you're down to half pay if you're off sick but it should be achievable if they try. And from the date you get that signed off, you can look for work. Nothing to stop you planning what you'll do beforehand.
    If you still want to teach, there's supply of course. If you've had enough then take the summer to explore your options and plan your escape route. Speak to your union too.
    Who will want you? I employ two people who quit schools due to WRS. They're great. I have enough sense to know some schools are toxic environment but I'm not the only Head who knows that. I have friends too who have been where you are and there is light at the other side of that tunnel you are in.
  3. Bedlam3

    Bedlam3 Lead commenter

    You don't mention Union involvement which you really do need if you wish to go down the SA route.
    mothorchid and Lara mfl 05 like this.
  4. Sally006

    Sally006 Occasional commenter

    I’m fully aware of the need for Union involvement to follow such a route. Not fit to make any such decisions now. 3 months is what I suspected. All seems so grim right now. We really are no further forward in school or society’s regard of mental health are we?
    cissy3 and veneris like this.
  5. veneris

    veneris New commenter

    You've got six weeks to plot what to do before you need to act. It's three months pay from the date agreed. If you get some proper advice you don't need to be out of work at all and the SA will cushion any loss in salary when you change jobs. You've had a horrible end to the term so build yourself back up before you start making decisions. Try the Education Support Partnership as a resource to help.
    I've had two close friends go through this recently. One is still in teaching, is your age, and got a permanent job after doing supply at a school. The other quit teaching but was only out of work for a week.
    Both are much happier now.
  6. sbkrobson

    sbkrobson Star commenter

    Some misadvice here.
    OP has negotiated part time hours from September. And accepted them.
    So a settlement agreement would not be based on full pay.
    It would be based on the part time pay which starts in September, since there will be no window to run the necessary discussions at the moment. It is Summer holidays. The school will not respond to negotiations, and meetings might be required. They can quite reasonably simply not respond.
    So that is yet bleaker financially.

    However, a settlement agreement does not seem to be the way forward, It is designed to end an untenable situation, where all else has failed. To mutual satsifaction.
    If you have negotiated part time hours as a means to getting away from an untenable situation, you ought at least to start off on those hours and see how it goes. You cannot go back on that now, as the school can be said to have granted you a concession n order to ease the problems. Why would they then look to another arrangement if you do not yet know if those part time hours work for you?
    I don't know, maybe your union would say otherwise, but if you really cannot return at all, the very best outcome would be based on a settlement on those part time hours.

    Have a break. You quote your age as being prohibitive in moving forward, but it isn't. Many doors are open to 52 year olds. You quote money as being an issue, but not at the moment it isn't. You are paid for summer. And thereafter you are still employed, with all the rights you may properly take.
    You state that the school has not cared enough for your mental health-well now they are out of the picture for Summer you are left to prove you can care for yourself. Start by having a break. Treat yourself. Your main goal is to get some peace of mind, and see that actually there are far more options than you depict.
    caterpillartobutterfly and CWadd like this.
  7. Sally006

    Sally006 Occasional commenter

    Yes, fully realise that from September onwards my salary is 0.7. This is why when mental illness (brought on by the workplace) is such an injustice. Other things being equal why wouldn’t I want to work full time to get full pension benefits - but I can’t. So I’m aware that any further sick leave will be based on 0.7 and any settlement too. I accept I may feel differently by September and now is not the time.
  8. veneris

    veneris New commenter

    I'm referring to full pay in terms of the contractual entitlement agreed (in this case part time) rather than half pay due to sickness absence. The OP states that they have had 5 months off with WRS and therefore will be soon on half pay if they do go off sick again. I assume that some of the absence went across into this financial year. I have come across people who think they will have their SA based on their sick pay, hence the reference to full pay.
  9. afterdark

    afterdark Lead commenter

    For around 20+ years ago, I have some experience with ACAS constructive dismissal and the guideline was a figure of 6-9 months pay. If you have lost money through being off through stress add that on as well.

    It would be nice to have someone who has had a SA recently message you anonymously with a figure. Or have a friend mesage you, on here, I mean.

    You should start high, they won't haggle up will they? They don't pay unless they are somehow at fault. Otherwise they would be firing you. Question what they say and they already have a history of prevarication/telling fibs do they not?

    Find out the HT/principal's salary if you can. If they can afford that they can afford to pay you.

    ACAS have a site.


    Get a job overseas. Schools value your UK experience and training and some and can pay accordingly.
  10. grumpydogwoman

    grumpydogwoman Star commenter

    My wife's experience goes back less than 12 months. She was a global director of IT. With an expensive lawyer she managed to secure the equivalent of 3 months salary after tax was deducted. That was constructive dismissal.

    It went to the wire. It was traumatic and they resisted all the way. It shredded nerves. So she "won". She had a good case but as "wins" go? There was no celebration.
    agathamorse likes this.
  11. starlightexpress

    starlightexpress Occasional commenter

    I can’t see that it would automatically be a SA. These are used for many reasons and really are just an agreement around the ending of your contract. They also do not all give remuneration.

    Your union would give advice pertinent to your situation.

    Why would the school go into one with remuneration? Is there risk around your situation for the organisation?

    WRS might be what the GP says. However a GP will only say this based on what you say to them. This would be based on your perception and your reaction to your experience. We all would have our own responses to the situation we are in. I say this because the school may not view there to be defined triggers or accentuations to your WRS. Therefore, they may not engage in your view of giving a financial settlement.

    If it progresses, I’d imagine you’d be off sick and any payment would only be PILON. This is standard. The most I’m aware of are three months salary, with standard deductions. Unless there has been a breach of policy, such as discrimination or something affecting employment rights (risk then of ET).

    The school agreeing your flexible working request, I would view as being a highly supportive action or response to your wellbeing needs post WRS.

    My advice:
    Get yourself as rested and as feeling well as possible- it might make a difference;
    Try the part time option- it might make a difference;
    Ask for review of the return to work meeting you would have had to review OH advice and share the things impacting, for example parental behaviour- this should be able to be dealt with;
    Get a clear plan in place which defines how you and the school have agreed you’ll be supported;
    Seek union advice- you’ll be able to share the full context with them and seek full advice on the way forward.

    Maybe for your wellbeing, it’s a standard resignation, standard working notice and typical reference process? Then seeking a role where you might find things are different and thus impacts positively on your mental health and wellbeing. Sometimes process such SAs can have detrimental impact on wellbeing- do you want this additional stress in the mix?

    My view is always to work to an option that gives the best closure and enables a good future.

    Wish you all the best in looking after your wellbeing, particularly your mental and emotional health.
    agathamorse and grumpydogwoman like this.
  12. ridleyrumpus

    ridleyrumpus Lead commenter

    Couple of things.

    I really hate the concept of going part time as being a "reasonable adjustment" for workload issues (assuming that this is part of the issue here), it just means working full time for less pay. AFAICS that is not an adjustment from the employer.

    Why 0.7? That sounds like such an odd figure, 0.2,0.4,0.6,0.8 then yes but 0.7?
    cissy3 likes this.
  13. starlightexpress

    starlightexpress Occasional commenter

    Maybe paid PPA, so paid 0.7 attend for 0.6? I’ve done that arrangement to be supportive to those wanting part time but also aiming to not increase the number of teachers for a class (primary) when have two in a job share and then a third for PPA cover. They get paid the 1.0 equivalent of PPA, which can be seen as extra supportive around the extras of communication in a job share.

    Part time wouldn’t be a reasonable adjustment as that would be about experience when in work. However, agreeing a flexible working request would/ could be seen as supporting an individual. It’s certainly more supportive to agree one, that to not, if that’s what the individual has requested!
  14. Easyasabc

    Easyasabc Occasional commenter

    And are you in a Union?. And have you asked them for advice?.
    Piranha and grumpydogwoman like this.
  15. ridleyrumpus

    ridleyrumpus Lead commenter

    Let me clarify.

    I do not think that PT is a reasonable adjustment if it is the excessive workload etc that is making you unwell in the first place.
  16. Sally006

    Sally006 Occasional commenter

    Yep consulted Union about part time. As stated I’m going to give it a try. I had to go part time to ensure my survival as just could afford to just stop. 0.7 (reasons are personal, details would identify me).

    I have had a tough couple of weeks having phased back in. My original post was a simple query about where I could possibly go if even part time doesn’t work. I’m quite staggered by some of the patronizing responses to an almost 30 year careerist suffering from mental health as a result of WRS. Thought you would be on my side to help with your own experiences. I was wrong. Over and out!
    Easyasabc likes this.
  17. grumpydogwoman

    grumpydogwoman Star commenter

    Sorry that you feel we let you down.

    I have looked back and I think people have just given their honest opinions. And there are some rather helpful suggestions.

    The SA can be hard work emotionally. I'm afraid I can't pretend otherwise. You certainly emerge from it with a bit of money and a reference but it's a gruelling process. It has been in our case and I know we're not alone. Sorry.

    Here's to a restorative few weeks away from work.
  18. Easyasabc

    Easyasabc Occasional commenter

    I think posters have been fair and honest with the limited information you have given. Even so good luck and I hope it works out for you. Please make sure you use a support network of some kind as you find your way forward - which you will.
    grumpydogwoman likes this.
  19. starlightexpress

    starlightexpress Occasional commenter

    It would be difficult for people to share their own experiences as SAs are confidential by nature and typically contain clauses. Even though publicly anonymous, all posters on here have signed up with email and name.

    I wouldn’t have thought anyone would aim to be patronising in response- it’s the dangers of written posts and how we all potentially come across. There’s a range of experience on this forum, with multiple perspectives. However, we know we don’t know the whole picture.

    Please do look after you. Ensure that professional and personal support for yourself. Even if you left the school, with or without a SA, closure would not be automatic and thinking of things that have happened will play on your mind. Particularly if things have been traumatic- you refer here and in another trail to poor treatment by parents. Please use the hols to put yourself and your wellbeing first.
    grumpydogwoman likes this.
  20. 1970devon

    1970devon Occasional commenter

    I am happy to chat privately with regards to my situation which has some similarities. Although I ended up being dismissed due to my health. Perhaps have a look at my rambling posts from last 18 months and message me if you wish x
    agathamorse likes this.

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