I was delighted to help my client after she had been subjected to an unfair performance management process by her company. For more information read on.
My Client’s Story
My client had been working successfully for her employer for several years. Throughout her employment, she had received praise and commendation (not to mention pay rises and bonuses) for her work. Although her job title indicated that she had a sales role, it was generally understood throughout the company that she was a problem solver. She would often be asked to use her relationships with clients and customers to smooth over problems or to help her colleagues.
All was well until there was a change in my client’s direct line management. The atmosphere within the company changed from being cooperative and collaborative to a more ‘macho’ environment with colleagues being set up in competition with each other. This was often at the expense of the interests of the wider company.
My client did what she could to fit in with this new environment. However, it coincided with a very difficult time for her personally. Also, many of the colleagues that she knew and trusted were leaving. Senior female executives with a history of success for the company were leaving and being replaced by younger men.
Matters came to a head during my client’s annual review. She had been given a sales targets at the beginning of the year. However, due to an emergency issue with a large client for the company, she had been asked to concentrate her efforts on securing that client relationship. Accordingly, she had complied with managerial instructions but had then been told that she was failing to meet her sales targets as a consequence.
In addition, the way in which her sales were being calculated against target was different to her male counterparts. In prior years, contract renewals had counted towards her sales targets and were still being counted towards the sales targets of the other (predominantly male) sales team. However, for her, renewals were disregarded and/or reduced.
Finally, she was given a completely new geographical area. Her previous area where she had built up client relationships and had been working on pipeline sales was reallocated to male colleagues.
Despite being aware of the above, the company informed my client that as she had failed to meet her sales targets, she was being issued with a disciplinary warning. My client fully understood that this was the first step in the company’s attempt to terminate her employment. It was at this stage that she sought my assistance.
How I Helped My Client
I had a Fixed Fee Consultation appointment with my client by video. We went through the full background of her situation. She was clearly distressed by everything that was happening. I fully understood her anxiety and why she was so aggrieved by the decision to issue her with a disciplinary warning.
During our consultation, I identified that my client had claims for sex discrimination. I also commented that in the event the company went on to terminate her employment for performance reasons, I would consider this to be an unfair dismissal and a further act of sex discrimination.
During the consultation, we spent a great deal of time discussing what my client’s ideal outcome would be. Understandably, she felt that she had lost trust in the company. She was concerned about the impact the stress and anxiety caused by the company’s actions was having on her health. She explained that although she would like to go forward and fight both the internal procedures and an Employment Tribunal matter, she felt it would be best for her to have clean break with the company and to be able to move on.
She therefore instructed me to begin negotiations for a termination package by way of a Settlement Agreement. (For more information about Settlement Agreements, please visit our website at https://lincslaw.co.uk/services/settlement-agreement/)
I discussed with my client a strategy to strengthen her position going forward. Accordingly, having taken steps to deal with the immediate threats of the performance management process, I initiated without prejudice discussions to secure an exit package for my client.
There was some initial resistance, but this did not last long and we were able to secure my client a significant settlement. This meant that she was able to close the door on this particularly difficult time in her life and move forward.
I was delighted to have been able to help my client at such a difficult time.
My client was kind enough to send me some lovely bottles of wine (which I am thoroughly enjoying). She also was good enough to provide the review below: –
“Sally listened, asked lots of questions and checked everything I shared with her to ensure she had a firm grasp of my situation.
Sally was not only highly professional, but friendly and kind with a great sense of humour. She helped me to understand that whilst I was worried I was ‘a woman of a certain age’, my company had treated me in a way that was not acceptable and that I had grounds to pursue a financial settlement.
She walked me through my options and took time to understand my thoughts and feelings throughout the process. Often, I was conflicted – but Sally never made me feel anything other than valued and always gave me time to think things over. She reminded me of how working together should be and provided a safe environment to talk things through. She never made me feel I was wasting her time, or that I was being an idiot.
I changed my mind a couple of times on the outcome I wanted. Sally was understanding and wholly accommodated my needs…. I cannot recommend Sally and Lincs Law enough.”
Lincs Law Employment Solicitors Can Help You
If you are being subjected to a performance management process unfairly and would like some assistance with your situation, please contact us for a free no obligation consultation with a fully qualified Employment Solicitor. Simply use the contact form, engage in a web chat, email email@example.com or call us on 01522 440512 and we’ll be happy to help.
Alternatively, if you would like some further information about performance management procedures, please visit our website at https://lincslaw.co.uk/services/employees/workplace-problems/performance-procedures/
Specialist Employment Solicitor
Lincs Law Employment Solicitors.