There has been much talk of “Compromise Agreements” which WBC seem to throw about like expensive confetti, like an annoying guest at a wedding.
But what do these mythical “agreements” look like?
Well a whistleblower from WBC has kindly given us “access” to extracts from his to show exactly what goes on when WBC want to “get rid” of bothersome employees who blow the whistle and who are covered by DDA/Equalities Act. It appears this is WBC’s preferred action rather than attempting do the right thing(I mean really? The right thing, who needs to do that shit!) He also tells us he was given 24 hours to sign this agreement or it would be withdrawn which initially just contained the VS payment. He refused the Councils offer of “legal advice” and Union “representation”(sic.)
Instead he got his own advice which we have had sight of and which stated “ the original letter was sent to the wrong address it made reference to the compromise agreement which alluded for the first time that [Name] has some potential claims against the council that this agreement would prevent him from pursuing.
In this respect then it is already admitted that the general scheme of voluntary severance is being used in his case as a means to negate those claims. In as far as this is the case, the second issue is that he will receive no more compensation that the another member of the scheme who has no such claims. “
Unlike Martin Morton’s agreement this one contained no gagging clause. Of course Mr Morton’s disclosure was clearly in the public interest and as such, gagging clauses are illegal. Public Interest Disclosure Act 1998 – specifically Section 43J states –
(1) Any provision in an agreement to which this section applies is void in so far as it purports to preclude the worker from making a protected disclosure.
(2) This section applies to any agreement between a worker and his employer (whether a worker’s contract or not), including an agreement to refrain from instituting or continuing any proceedings under this Act or any proceedings for breach of contract.
Anyway here is a Compromise Agreement, this includes VS AND a pay off not to pursue the Council through court due to Disability Discrimination.
1. the Council will by [date] pay the Employee the sum of £19,000 [less any tax that is payable on any amount in excess of £30,000] as compensation for the termination of the Employee’s contract of employment (‘the Termination Payment’). For the avoidance of any doubt, the Employee’s date of termination of employment with the Council for the purposes of calculating the Termination Payment in accordance with the Council’s EVR/VS scheme shall be 30 June 2011.
2. The Employee shall discharge all duties and responsibilities in accordance with their contract of employment up to and including [date]2011, and the Employer shall:
a. Pay all salary and contractual benefits due to the Employee up to and including [date] less any tax and national insurance contributions payable; and
For the avoidance of any doubt, any salary paid to the Employee and relating tax and national insurance contributions paid by the Council under his contract of employment with the Council for any period beyond [date] shall be offset against any payment due under paragraph 3b.
3. Subject to the provisions of paragraph 5, the Termination Payment and arrangements set out in this Agreement shall be in full and final settlement of all claims and rights of action that the Employee has or may have at the date of this Agreement against the Council or any of its or their employees or officers arising directly or indirectly from the Employee’s employment by the Council or the termination thereof, including but not limited to:
a. any claim for unfair dismissal, under the Employment Rights Act 1996;
b. any claim for a statutory redundancy payment, under the Employment Rights Act 1996;
c. any claim in relation to an unauthorised deduction from wages, under the Employment Rights Act 1996;
d. any claim for wrongful dismissal, unpaid bonus, enhanced redundancy payment or any claim for breach of any express or implied terms of the Employee’s contract of employment;
e. any equal pay claim under the Equal Pay Act 1970/Equality Act 2010;
f. any claim breach of contract;
g. any claim under common law;
h. any claim for remuneration for the protected period following the making of a protective award by an employment tribunal under Section 192 of the Trade Union and Labour Relations (Consolidation) Act 1992; and
i. any claim for pay in lieu of notice or damages for termination of employment without notice or on short notice.
j. any claim arising in connection with the application and operation of the Council’s EVR/VS scheme implemented pursuant to the Local Government (Early Termination of Employment) (Discretionary Compensation) (England and Wales) Regulations 2006;
k. any claim for maladministration arising in connection with the Employee’s employment.
5. Without admission of any liability the Council shall pay the Employee the sum of £25,000 (twenty five thousand pounds) on [date] 2011 in full and final settlement of all claims the Employee may have against the Council or its employees or agents:
(a) in connection with the Employee’s whistleblowing complaint relating to the Council’s Department of Adult Social Services, including but not limited to:
(i) any claim that the Employee has been subjected to any detriment by any act or failure to act by the Council on the ground that the Employee made or has made a protected disclosure as defined by Part IVA of the Employment Rights Act 1996;
(ii) any claim for maladministration including any alleged delay in dealing with the complaint; and
(iii) any claim for personal injury, including any claim for injury to feelings.
For the avoidance of any doubt, any complaint received by the Council under the Council’s Whistleblowing Policy as at the date of this agreement shall be dealt with in accordance with the requirements of that Policy.
(b) under the Disability Discrimination Act 1995 and/or under the Equality Act 2010 that the Council or its employees or agents have:
(i) discriminated against him because of his disability;
(ii) discriminated against him for a reason relating to his disability or treated him unfavourably because of something arising in consequence of his disability;
(iii) applied a provision criterion or practice which is discriminatory in relation to his disability;
(iv) not complied with any duty to make reasonable adjustments by failing to take reasonable steps to avoid a substantial disadvantage to which he has been put by reason of his disability including the steps specified in Section 20 (3) (4) (5) and (6) of the Equality Act 2010;
(v) victimised him by subjecting him to a detriment because he has done a “protected act” within the meaning of Section 27 (2) of the Equality Act 2010;
(vi) harassed him by engaging in unwanted conduct relating to his disability.