ACAS concilliator came through last week to tell me exboss has made a commercial offer of £500 based on the fact that he is using a barrister at the tribunal and to save other costs he may as well pay it to me. I refused.
He has now come back with his FINAL offer of £1000. The reasons for this are in a nutshell the arguments he will raise in the hearing which are: there is less in teh way of consultation he has to do in a small company as opposed to a large one, if he had gone through the correct procedure it still would have been me who had been made redundant and if I did win, he is arguing that I havent done all I can to find another job (my criteria: term time, school hours). Any views? Freckle? Sis?
Take it. The tribunal route is long, painful, time consuming, nerve wracking and expensive. And even if you were to win, average settlement is only £2.5k IIRC (but I may have that wrong, do check) and your costs could be £10k ish if you hire a solicitor. Unless you have a union backing you and paying legal fees and you feel the principle is worth it I'd take the offer. Definitely.
How close are you to a hearing? If they are getting a barrister, it will cost them a fair bit (plus the cost of all the time spent at the hearing instead of running their business on the day). What I would suggest you do is to draw up a schedule of the amount of money you have lost out on as a result on being unfairly dismissed (just work on the assumption that you have been unfairly dismissed) and then say that that is the amount you believe the tribunal will award but you are prepared to consider a compromise.
The issue of 'less of an obligation on small employers' is a bit dodgy if my memory serves me right and your ex-employers were lawyers or his wife is an employment lawyer who advised the company?! But the 'no difference' defence could stick and they may succeed in convincing the tribunal that full consultation would have made no difference other than delay the redundancy by a month, so you should just get a month's pay (is that more than they are offering now?
Have you received any state benefits since your dismissal? - if so, bear in mind that that will be recoupled from any tribunal award but not from an out of court settlement.
Finally, as others have said, it is much, much better to avoid tribunal hearings if at all possible as they are very, very stressful - so that is a factor that you need to weigh up against the possiblility of getting more money in tribunal (or no money at all).
Just seen this, jampots. So glad you got a positive result without having to go through all the tribunal trauma. Have you actually got the cheque in your hot sweaty mitts or do you have to wait for ex-boss to get his butt in gear?
Glad it's all settled for you now Jampots. Now you just need to find something else with similar hours..... If I see/hear of anything locally I'll pass it on, but don't hold your breath! In the meantime, if you're in town with a bit of time to spare sometime I'll buy the coffee (or whatever) this time.