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To feel like a hypocrite if I take the money

(70 Posts)
RuggerHug Fri 10-Nov-17 00:59:22

I was dismissed/let go from my job earlier this year. I only started in the company last year and was on a 6 month probation. I was recommended for the job by a friend of mine. This company have a scheme where if you recommend someone and they pass the probation period you get a lump sum. My friend and I knew this because we made jokes about splitting the money and what we would do with it. At the end of 5 months he said to me outside work I had obviously passed as they paid him this 'bonus' amount. I then found out I was pregnant. I had previously thought based on my medical history that this wouldn't be possible. A surprise but a very happy one. I told my manager. Then my probation review kept getting pushed out. When it finally happened I was told there wasn't a job for me but 'it's nothing to do with you being pregnant, our maternity policy is crap anyway'. I was told to leave straight away but they would pay me for the month.

I filed a complaint with the commission here and our case is on Monday. The company is now offering me a 'not our fault,say nothing,drop it' severance amount. The amount they have offered is an insult but I really don't want to have to sit opposite my former manager and go through how much they have screwed me over. Tbh if they offered an apology for the stress and a decent reference for my work I would be ok but part of me is tempted to take the money to not have to face them.

Would it be awful of me to do it since they will have 'bought me off when it isn't about the money or has anyone been through this and known what the best thing to do is?

josbd Fri 10-Nov-17 01:21:31

What vile people! I think you should do what makes you feel comfortable, and not worry about anything else. It would be great to go buccaneering through court proceedings, and "win the day", but as the thought of having to face these people clearly fills you with dread, don't do it to yourself.

I would be willing to bet, though that the longer you leave it before giving them your answer, the more likely they are to come back with a better offer. I doubt they have any wish to go to court either.

Giraffesarequitetall Fri 10-Nov-17 01:24:40

Have been through different but similar. I got offered a derisory sun to not go through with the tribunal. I told the ACAS woman who was negotiating to tell them to come back with something sensible. It took me saying no twice more to get anything decent. Still not what I deserved but it meant the stress was over.

I certainly wouldn’t say yes to the first offer.

Giraffesarequitetall Fri 10-Nov-17 01:25:48

I should add that they said the first offer was a final offer...

RemainOptimistic Fri 10-Nov-17 01:27:03

The first offer is not going to be their max is it? They've offered a low amount as an opening offer not as a final settlement. Go for it.

Want2bSupermum Fri 10-Nov-17 01:38:06

One year salary at a minimum. Ask for two years gross salary on their 3rd offer. I've seen what companies expect to pay out. They can pay a lot more than you think especially if it means they can avoid legal costs.

Want2bSupermum Fri 10-Nov-17 01:40:20

They are calling your bluff on this being their final offer. You just go back via your legal rep to say thank you for the offer but it's not in line with your expectations therefore you will proceed with the commission.

katmarie Fri 10-Nov-17 02:40:47

Never ever take the first offer. If you want to go down the financial settlement route, work out what would do it for you, amount wise, and ask for that plus a little more. It’s fine to take the payment, a lot of people do, as realistically money is a major concern after being out of work. But just make sure it’s an amount you’re happy with, as you obviously only get one go around at this.

For context it would be worth getting an understanding of what you might be awarded if you win your case. That might put their offer into perspective.

Realistically fighting these things is hard, and very stressful. Very few people come out the other end feeling like they won everything they set out to get, but that does depend on how realistic their expectations were going in. My advice to you is to work out what you want from this whole complaint process, and it sounds like you have an idea of what that is. If you’re going to settle make sure those things are included in your settlement offer, or if not, make sure they’re a realistic possibility upon winning your case. Also get good advice on the strength of your case before making a final decision.

Finally don’t be rushed, make it clear that you need time to consider the full details of any offer on the table, and get legal advice if you’re not sure.

Gaudeamus Fri 10-Nov-17 02:48:57

If you find you have the stamina to go through with the case, please do. They are:

1) Sacking you for being pregnant
2) Lying about it despite the evidence of your friend's bonus
3) Exploiting your wish for a peaceful pregnancy to try and get off scot-free
4) Offering you hush money to meekly go away instead of seeking justice for being illegally sacked
5) In all likelihood offering you a piddling small amount of hush money to boot!

That is outrageous. Unless someone stands up to this, shames them publicly and makes them sweat, they'll do the same to others, but if you pursue it, other women in the same circumstances are more likely to feel able to do so too.

Pregnant then Screwed might help.

Congratulations on your pregnancy!

RuggerHug Fri 10-Nov-17 04:31:58

Thanks everyone for the replies. Their offer was for less than 2 months salary so seeing how much I should get was interesting. I'm going to say I'd rather proceed formally and see what their next offer is.

Mummyoflittledragon Fri 10-Nov-17 05:24:48

Good for you. Idiots. I hope you get a very decent offer in the end. And definitely reach out to acas.

ownedbySWD Fri 10-Nov-17 05:35:44

Definitely keep pushing for what you deserve. They have stolen from you, pure and simple.

LoveProsecco Fri 10-Nov-17 05:58:57

Good luck flowers

bedtimepain Fri 10-Nov-17 06:55:28

It falls under sex discrimination and can be proven by your friend being paid the bonus and then they retracted it once they knew you were pregnant.

It's serious in fact AND it now causes you stress in your pregnancy which compounds it as you will have a new born with no job to go to.

Stick to your guns. It's pretty black and white here! Please keep us posted OP -

Giraffesarequitetall Fri 10-Nov-17 06:59:12

Sorry to be a big negative but don’t assume over a years salary, it’s not as if they have kicked you out of a job that you’d been in years. Yes, more than two months but don’t get unrealistic ideas of years worth.

I settled for roughly six months net pay (initial offer about 1 month from memory). I had been in the job 7 years and had been through a prolonged period of stress while it was dealt with and just wanted it over, for me that amount meant I could do something positive with the money.

Hissy Fri 10-Nov-17 06:59:45

Is this in the uk? If you aren’t racking up legal fees, go for it!

Toblernone Fri 10-Nov-17 07:05:41

Haven't they also just effectively taken away your smp entitlement too as you'd have been entitled to that staying with them, as you'd clearly already passed probation. So that's a not insignificant sum for starters they've had from you. It's up to you whether you settle or not but definitely don't settle for that first offer and get advice.

maddening Fri 10-Nov-17 07:05:46

Good luck - get your answer in early as poss today so they have time to counter offer being as it is a friday

DartmoorDoughnut Fri 10-Nov-17 07:07:46

Fight them the CF!! It must be horrendous to go through but you’re doing it for your DC flowers

Ceto Fri 10-Nov-17 07:13:33

You can hold out for a reference as part of the settlement anyway.

Jerseysilkvelour Fri 10-Nov-17 07:14:58

Decline this offer but say you'd be open to a better one, if you go to court you need to justify why you didn't accept an offer. E.g. Find out what you would likely be awarded at tribunal, and base the reasonableness of the offer on that.

Where I work they never let people know about their probation being passed, they should but they don't. The fact they put it off then did says to me it was deliberate.

Another thing, I know where I work they sometimes do dismiss unfairly on purpose because in the long run it's cheaper to provide a settlement than to keep employing......

Ceto Fri 10-Nov-17 07:33:01

There would be nothing hypocritical whatsoever in taking an offer of settlement: after all, claiming financial compensation is what the case is all about. Just make sure it's an appropriate amount with attached terms like giving a good reference.

RuggerHug Fri 10-Nov-17 07:45:56

Thanks again for the replies. Not in the UK but the company is based there. I've been able to get my state maternity pay but it's more that they've screwed me for planning work. Anyone I know here has had to book creche places nearly a year in advance and I wouldn't be able to book one hoping I get a job that starts then, having to turn down anything with a start date before then or risk paying a fortune in fees when I don't have money coming in. I just feel like a bit of a hypocrite if I take it and it's 'hidden' almost. If they can say they did nothing wrong and just pay me off then what's to stop them doing it to someone else?

Want2bSupermum Fri 10-Nov-17 13:00:47

Exactly. That is why most companies expect the payout for a case like this to be over a years salary. You will have reserved a space for childcare which you are on the hook for. Also it's completely realistic to assume you will be out of work until your child is at least six months old. You child isn't even born yet so you are talking at least one year out of work. It's more realistic to say that when your child is six months you will start looking for a job so 12-18 months before you start work is the timeframe they need to pay you for.

Legal rulings don't make companies like these change. Making them pay money and spend time on these cases does make them think twice in the future.

RuggerHug Fri 10-Nov-17 13:11:29

wanttobe sorry I probably should have said DS is here, this is just it's finally being heard by the workplace commission! Company sent a letter while I was in hospital having him to say they thought they did nothing wrong.

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