Any employment/HR specialists about…?

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  • Any employment/HR specialists about…?
  • Premier Icon mikewsmith
    Subscriber

    I gave no agreement for my medical information to be shared with a third-party, this is surely confidential between my doctor, my employer and I.

    Are you sure? You have probably agreed to allow your employer and their agents for want of a better word. There are plenty of companies who’s HR dep is a 3rd party etc.

    tootired
    Member

    People have helped me a lot before with some great advice, maybe that will be the case again…?

    I am in a troubling situation at work where I have been offered redundancy or a settlement agreement. It’s not a disciplinary, performance or capability issue – so pretty straightforward. The settlement agreement has been produced by an external legal firm and in this document they have revealed that I have had one incidence of stress, where I was signed off as a result.

    I gave no agreement for my medical information to be shared with a third-party, this is surely confidential between my doctor, my employer and I. Do I have grounds to seek some sort of redress – even in the form of an apology?

    hels
    Member

    Not so much HR stuff but big on Data Protection Act. They are allowed to share personal data if necessary in order to fulfil contract etc, but they probably should have told you as this prolly counts as sensitive personal data. Seems reasonable that in order to process your settlement they would need access to your staff records, all of it, not just the bits that make you look good.

    As a general point, you would probably have to prove actual harm in order to sue for compensation – has it stopped you getting another job or anything like that ?? A real, not notional incident.

    Junkyard
    Member

    The settlement agreement has been produced by an external legal firm and in this document they have revealed that I have had one incidence of stress, where I was signed off as a result.

    I would question what the relevance of this is to your redundancy not least because sickness record can no longer be used in redundancy cases
    I fail to see howo it can be used to adjust your payout either tbh, has it?

    What exactly does it say – does it just list it factually with say holidays and any warning you may have had? Does it have some bearing on the decision or the payout?
    the later would be far more [ legally] interesting

    I suspect you could complain but what are you expecting to get from this? What do you want to achieve as a result of the complaint? what would be a satisfactory outcome?

    Re redundancy how have they appraised the situation?
    Have they used a formal process? Have they used stress as a reason to low score your in order to make the role redundant?

    How many in the organisation were made redundant?

    Personally , though you may be able to fight, but, IMHO, the best thing to do here is get the best payout you can and the best reference you can from them – get this agreed as part of the process – the exact wording of it not just that they will give you one.

    If they want you gone they want you gone and it is their ball and they can largely do as they please

    Essentially they shoud have an objective process for redundancy rather than just say ist you [ unless they are reorganising and closing an entire department. You also ahave right to be considered for other roles

    Not HR but Union rep

    Premier Icon dannybgoode
    Subscriber

    In order to sign a compromise agreement you *must* take legal advice. This isn’t advice – its the law. They are also pretty much a gagging order on both parties not to discuss the matter further.

    Make sure if you go this route also it has provisions for things like them providing a reference etc. If not you may raise eyebrows at a future job interview. So, can we have a reference from your last place of work. No sorry no can do. Why? Can’t say…

    Re: medical records – every contract I have signed in the last 10 years has a provision that the place of work can access your medical details and share them with relevant parties. I refused to sign one once and got told sign or leave.

    Agree re: redundancy. There are very specific things that must be done to make you redundant (consultancy period, demonstrate they have followed a selection process etc). If they haven’t done this then it amounts to unfair dismissal.

    Best thing to do at this stage is to speak to ACAS and they will give you a steer. And they are free to use.

    b r
    Member

    If the money they are offering (either way) is good enough – take it and ignore, otherwise ask for more (and ignore).

    Premier Icon scotroutes
    Subscriber

    tootired wrote:

    Do I have grounds to seek some sort of redress – even in the form of an apology?

    Not try to minimise the potential upset, but is it worth chasing this given that it’s just more stress to do so?

    tootired
    Member

    Thanks for your responses.

    The situation has not arisen to my knowledge as a result of stress. I don’t therefore see why it is in the draft Settlement Agreement. The absence due to stress happened over 18 months ago. It has crossed my mind though as I am the only person affected in a team of over 65…. The reasons are based on costs apparently – however we do make over 30% profit. Yes, I did say costs and 30% profits.

    I’m not looking for additional money or suing – just do not think it should be in there and shared with others. Also I am not suffering with undue stress now – thankfully!

    Thanks Danny B. I understand how the redundancy process works and so far they have even failed to formally inform me I am at risk so that is interesting. I am recording all the conversations in writing.

    I am on the union but our union rep is awful and prejudiced against senior management. Guess what I am senior management!

    Premier Icon footflaps
    Subscriber

    If they contracted the third party company with a non disclosure agreement in place, then they are treating your confidential information with proper care etc, so whilst you might not like it, they are acting professionally. Lots of confidential stuff is outsourced these days eg payroll, health stuff, HR etc.

    tootired
    Member

    Cheers Danny B. I also am taking legal advice – not meeting until Tuesday though.

    Premier Icon lunge
    Subscriber

    Re. The reference being given as part of the settlement agreement, I would want to make doubly sure that the fact you are the only one of a department of 65 being made redundant isn’t mentioned anywhere. Some employers will, rightly or wrongly, interpret that they chose you as opposed to the other 64 as not being overly complimentary on you as a prospective employee.

    tootired
    Member

    Thanks all!

    cynic-al
    Member

    I don’t see how confidentiality can stop information bring passed to professional advisors when appropriate.

    I don’t see how it is appropriate here if the OP is correct.

    I certainly wouldn’t pay a penny to any lawyer to get an apology.

    Junkyard
    Member

    It has crossed my mind though as I am the only person affected in a team of over 65.

    if they are reducing a team then they need to use a procedure assuming you all do the same job

    Lets say there are 65 plumbers and one is to go and they just say to you goodbye then that is unfair as they need to have used an objective procedure, made you aware of the procedure,assessed all candidates and removed the lowest scoring individual
    It seems they have just taken you in a room and said you are made redundant and no one else is and not used any procedure to reach this decision
    I would imagine this is getting into the realms of constructive dismissal – that said , unless they are idiots, they should be able to create a procedure that picks you anyway so it is , IMHO, better to get the best you can rather than what the law may say.
    In your case they may just be removing your tier of management but if others do the same level role then it should still be between you all unless
    They should have also consulted the union on the procedure as well
    have they?

    Re legal advice iirc they have to give you time off and pay for it

    It reads like they want you gone so , saly. I would accept this and get the best you can – you could fight and claim unfair dismissal but it really depends on details you wont want to share on here

    tootired
    Member

    I don’t mind going – I don’t want to be shortchanged or having my confidential data shared needlessly that’s all!

    konabunny
    Member

    Presumably a term of the settlement agreement would be to release all claims against the employer.

    Premier Icon stumpyjon
    Subscriber

    What konabunny said. Make sure you walk away with more under the compromise agreement, it reduces their costs, they don’t pay NI on any notice period for example and allows them to claim no one was made redundant. Also be aware you should be able to get any money associated with compromise agreement tax free. Effectively you can walk away with more at no cost or even a saving to them with a compromise agreement so argue your corner. If they don’t play ball dig your heels in, demand your formal consultation period and full notice period.

    Don’t wprry about the stress comment, you won’t be showing any prospective new employer the agreement as it breaks the terms of the agreement. Can be a little diificult explaining why you left to new employer, just talk in terms of a mutually agreed settlement at a time of restructuring, compromise agreemenrs at your level are quite common.

    tootired
    Member

    Thank you all for your contributions. I really believe you have provided some good advice guidance and information that will be really helpful.

    They have agreed a reference, the agreement does include release of all claims,

    If they don’t play ball dig your heels in, demand your formal consultation period and full notice period.

    That is my plan!

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