London Eye

Case study: raising a grievance and obtaining a settlement agreement

Summary and aim:

To secure a package for our client which adequately compensated her for the discriminatory treatment she had suffered and the resulting unfair loss of her employment.

Our client:

An HR business partner working in a commercial bank.

Summary of the situation and the challenge:

  • Our client was a working mother with an existing flexible working arrangement working in a busy HR department.
  • After a change in line management, her flexible working arrangement was not being respected and she was regularly having to work on her non-working days or having to stay late after her agreed finish time making her late to collect her daughter from nursery.  While our client did not mind working outside of her contracted hours from time to time, the excessive workload was causing her a great deal of stress.  When she raised this with her line manager she was told that he did not think flexible working arrangements worked and that her coming to him to discuss the situation was evidence of that.  Other similarly discriminatory comments were made to our client by her line manager on a not infrequent basis.
  • Our client felt she was being pushed out of the organisation because she worked flexibly.  She approached us as she was considering resigning and she wanted to ensure that she did so in a way which best protected her interests.


  • We raised a lengthy written grievance on our client’s behalf under the company’s formal grievance policy.  This clearly set out each of the individual allegations of discriminatory conduct and placed the company on notice of the potential sex discrimination claim and constructive unfair dismissal claim.
  • We also wrote to the company on a without prejudice basis setting out what our client would be prepared to accept under a settlement agreement.  
  • We advised our client on what to expect from the process so that she could prepare herself.  We were able to explain some of the more intimidating steps which the company might take as we advise both employers and employees and so understand the tactics from both sides.  This enabled our client to be more confident and assertive in dealing with the process.


  • We secured a generous financial settlement for our client under a settlement agreement.
  • In addition, we secured confidentiality and non-derogatory comments clauses to ensure that our client would not be bad mouthed in the market place and the offer of outplacement to help her find an alternative role.
  • Our client recovered a large proportion of her legal fees from the company under the settlement agreement.

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