If your employer has offered you a compromise agreement, otherwise known as a settlement agreement, you may be feeling a range of emotions – shocked about being asked to leave your role, nervous at the prospect of facing unemployment and concerned about your financial security.
New rules introduced in September 2013 mean that your employer is now able to offer you shares in the business, but it also means forfeiting some of your employment rights. How will this work and what will it mean to you as an employee?
Being forced to work in Poundland may not be very nice, but equating it with modern-day slavery is probably exaggerating. On the other hand, it’s quite reprehensible for an apparently reputable and successful business to employ people to do jobs that need doing and not pay them anything at all, even if the government has asked them to. It’s exploitation, even if the Court of Appeal couldn’t say so.
As I was getting my daughter ready for nursery this morning I listened to the heartbreaking story of the mother campaigning for a change in the law to give parents a right to time off for the death of a child. If my little girl’s general loveliness was not enough to make me realise how lucky I am to have her, then this tragic tale certainly was.
Apparently all we need to get our sluggish economy up and running again is the ability to sack people more easily. This according to a man who gets at least some of his wealth lending to the desperate and charging them nearly 4,200% APR. This is definitely someone whose advice I want when I am down on my uppers.
I am one of the 4.14 million self-employed workers in the UK. I was feeling rather special and especially courageous for going it alone, but now I am one of over 4 million I don’t feel quite so amazing. Having said that, and even though I was somewhat ‘bounced’ into doing it by being made redundant, it is something I had thought about for a long time and I have a fair idea of the drawbacks as well as the benefits. That probably sets me apart from quite a few of this growing band of freelancers.
According to the OECD, the UK already has one of the most business-friendly frameworks of employment law of any of its members, second only to the US. The chancellor, George Osborne, is obviously not convinced. He told The Sun newspaper yesterday we talk far too much about ‘union rights’ and not enough about the rights of unemployed people to get a job. That’s why he’s increasing the qualifying period for employees to make unfair dismissal claims from one to two years.