As a trade union, assisting people to leave their jobs is not, ideally, what we’d be doing, but we aim to provide help and assistance to all our members, whatever the circumstances.
If you are going through the process, here is a rough guide to it and what we can do to help you.
If you’ve indicated that you want to go ahead with the settlement, HR will send out hard copies of the legal document as well as emailing a pdf to you.
You need to have legal advice and a signature from someone who is qualified to sign this type of document. The University will pay the £350 plus VAT that should cover the cost.
As a UNISON member, you can either use UNISON’s solicitor, Thompsons or find one yourself. There is no real advantage to using Thompsons and if you’d prefer a face-to-face discussion then you may opt to go to a high street solicitor, but the option of using Thompsons is available.
If you want to use Thompsons, the process is:
- You read the document, check the amount and make sure there is nothing that you are unhappy with.
- You send the pdf of the agreement to firstname.lastname@example.org, and we will also need you to confirm your contact details – name, address, email, contact number. The phone number is important because Thompsons will use this method to contact you.
- We will send off the electronic version of the agreement and your details to Thompsons.
- Thompsons will check the paperwork and contact you directly to discuss it with you.
- They will check that you’re happy, answer any questions and make sure you understand the nature of what you’re about to agree.
- If you still wish to go ahead, Thompsons will sign the document and arrange to send their signed copy to you. This is your last chance to withdraw from the process if you change your mind.
- On receipt, you sign the document yourself and then return it to the University by the deadline.
- The University will sign the document and this then becomes a binding agreement that neither party can withdraw from.
- You will leave on the agreed date and your final salary payment will include your wages for the month as normal and the settlement amount. They will probably assume that you’ll take any outstanding annual leave before you go.
Thompsons will reclaim their costs from the University, so there’s no need to worry about that.
If you’d sooner use your own legal people then the process will be similar, and again, the responsibility of getting the signed paperwork back to the University on time will be yours.
We can recommend https://www.pureemploymentlaw.co.uk/ (01243 836840) or you might want to use a solicitor you are familiar with if you have one already.
There’s no need to panic about the timescale, but we would suggest that this is done as early as possible to avoid the University potentially withdrawing the offer if the process is not complete on time.
We would, however, urge all members wanting to use Thompsons to get the emails back to us as soon as possible.
If you end up leaving the University, we hope you go on to greater things. Thanks for being a member and giving us the strength to campaign for all workers at the University.
Obviously, we would encourage you to make sure you’re in a trade union in your next job and ask others to join.
If you’re paying your union subs through payroll then this will obviously stop when you stop being paid (!) If you’re paying by direct debit then it’s up to you to cancel this with you bank. (We can’t do that for you!)
If you’re retiring or just taking a break, we would encourage you to think about becoming a retired member or an unemployed member.
Retired membership costs £15 for life – just fill in a form and send us a cheque.
Unemployed membership costs £4 a year and lasts for two years – just send us a cheque for £4 and we’ll amend your membership status.
If you have any questions on any of this then please feel free to get in touch with your local rep.