What are the legal requirements of a UK Compromise Agreement?
As legally binding documents, employment compromise agreements [which were technically re-named Settlement Agreements on July 29 2013] have a number of requirements in order to ensure the finality of a settlement. These are:
- Compromise agreements must be in writing.
- An employee must have sought separate legal advice to that of their employer.
- Compromise agreements must state the grievance or complaint that the employee has against their employer, e.g. for unfair dismissal.
- The contract must have been written in line with the conditions governing the creation of compromise agreements.
- Those solicitors giving independent legal advice must be identified.
A lawyer reviewing an employment compromise agreement will usually sign it to show that they have reviewed that compromise agreement, and it is vitally important that you seek such advice, as without it, compromise agreements are not legally binding.
What happens if I don’t consent to a Compromise Agreement?
You are under no obligation to sign an Employment Compromise Agreement. By refusing to sign such an agreement, you remain free to pursue any employment claim against your employer in the appropriate Employment Tribunal or court. However, without a compromise agreement, you may receive a lesser settlement under the terms of a redundancy than otherwise could have been possible. Our solicitors will seek the fairest and most satisfactory settlement for you, and may even be able to negotiate a higher settlement with your employer than originally offered.
Are Compromise Agreements confidential?
What can be said about Compromise Agreements depends on the level of confidentiality clauses included in the contract. Some compromise agreements contain clauses stating that the contract terms are confidential, whereas others may prohibit you from speaking to other employees about the entire Compromise Agreement. Your employer may even request that confidentiality applies to acknowledging the existence of the agreement itself.
Agreements on refraining from derogatory comments about your employer, as well as discussing your Employment Compromise Agreement with the media, are commonly included. Our highly experienced Solicitors can discuss all such issues with you, in helping you to understand the agreement before signing takes place.
Do I need to physically meet my solicitor about a Compromise Agreement?
Absolutely not. Our solicitors are happy to deal with Employment Compromise Agreement cases by email, fax and telephone. If you wish, however, to meet with one of our team face to face, then please feel free to contact us and we can arrange a convenient appointment with you at one of our offices in Wiltshire, Hampshire or Dorset.
What documents will my solicitor need to see?
1. Your draft Compromise Agreement
2. Your employment contract.
3. Documentation confirming any fringe benefits you receive including any commission or bonuses, share options, pension, health insurance or any death in-service benefits entitled to
4. All correspondence whether by e-mail or letter in which the reasons why you are being presented with a Settlement Agreement is explained, if you want me to consider the fairness of the termination of your contract.
5. In addition, for money-laundering and identification purposes, we also need to see;
a) Proof of your identity eg your passport or photo driving license
b) Proof of your residential address eg a bank or credit card statement or a utility bill (all of which will need to be under 3 months old)
In need of specialist advice on an Employment Compromise Agreement?
Wherever you are in the UK, from Kent to Essex, for a FREE initial telephone consultation on your Employment Compromise Agreement, call our expert Compromise Agreements Solicitors on
- a FREE first phone consultation on 0800 1404544 or
- use the contact form below