I have been presented with a Compromise Agreement – what should I do next?

Being presented with a Compromise Agreement can be a stressful experience. Many employees have never received a Compromise Agreement and for many it may be the only time they receive one in their working lives. For others, it may come as a welcome relief. Whichever it might be, it is essential that you obtain independent legal advice as to the terms and effect of the Compromise Agreement.

When a Compromise Agreement might be issued

A Compromise Agreement may be presented to you for any number of reasons. Your employer may be in the process of making redundancies or restructuring and might offer the opportunity of voluntary redundancy. It may be that you have an ongoing dispute with your employer and a Compromise Agreement has been presented as possible means to settle the dispute.

Whatever the circumstances of your matter, we are able to provide sound advice on the meaning of terms of a Compromise Agreement and the implications of entering into such an agreement.

Content of a Compromise Agreement

A Compromise Agreement in essence sets out the terms upon which your employment with the employer will be terminated.

Provisions will usually be made for the amount of money that will be paid to you and any benefits that you may receive in exchange for the settlement, or Compromise, of most, if not all of the legal claims you have or might have against your employer.

A Compromise Agreement also deals with such matters as the requirement for both the you and the employer to keep the Compromise Agreement confidential and for you to return all property belonging to the employer.

Completing the Compromise Agreement

Once you have received a Compromise Agreement you should obtain advice as soon as possible. The terms set out in the agreement may be open for a limited period of time after which time the offer of a Compromise Agreement may be withdrawn.

We will consider the terms contained within your Compromise Agreement with a view to preparing for a meeting with you. At the meeting with you we explain the meaning of the terms of the Compromise Agreement and their effect and the implications of entering into a Compromise Agreement.

Once you are happy to enter into the Compromise Agreement you sign the document and we are then able to provide a signed solicitors certificate confirming the terms and effect of the Compromise Agreement have been explained to you, (which is a requirement for the Compromise Agreement to be enforceable for the benefit of you and your employer).

In some instances it may be the case that you do not agree with some of the terms or that the terms need amending to reflect your circumstances. If so, we can deal directly with your employer in agreeing the final draft of Compromise Agreement.

Alternatively, it may be the case that you are unhappy with the terms of the settlement. We are able to negotiate on your behalf with your employer for improved terms of settlement, should you wish us to do so.

Legal Fees

It is usually a term of the Compromise Agreement that your employer contributes to the payment of your legal fees. Once you have entered into the Compromise Agreement we would simply ask your employer to pay the legal fees they have agreed to pay as set out in the Compromise Agreement. Accordingly, in most cases instructing us will not cost you anything.

Harris Charalambous