Employment Law in Practice
Always take notes at compromise agreement meetings so that you can check that the agreement reflects the deal. Never feel you need to agree to the package immediately simply say that you need time to consider the package or that you need the help of an experienced employment solicitor. We recommend that you keep negotiations "open" so that the employer cannot later argue from a moral standpoint that the compromise agreement has been agreed. The compromise agreement will commonly make provision for your employer to pay the fees of the employment solicitors.
Gather as much evidence during the process as you can in respect of potential breaches of your employment rights.
The main reason why you have been offered a compromise agreement is that your employer wishes to compromise potential employment claims.
The first step to analyse a compromise agreement and the severance package is to understand that the compromise agreement is not legally binding until you receive the advice of an independent qualified advisor and they have signed the agreement.
When consulting an employment solicitor for advice on whether or not you should accept the compromise agreement, it is useful to understand the various factors that have to be considered. With the assistance of your employment solicitor you should attempt to answer the questions below
- What is the likely award that an employment tribunal would give?
- What are the chances of success?
- What evidence do we have in respect of the employer's wrongdoing? What evidence are we likely to have in the future to prove wrongdoing? This is a very important factor that you can assist with.
- What are the legal cost of achieving an award, or a more sophisticated analysis, what would be the time and expense of increasing the compensation, prior to a final hearing (the most expensive part of litigation is usually the hearing).
- What is the likelihood of finding alternative employment (the severance package is to mitigate your losses of being unemployed).
- What would be the adverse impact to your career of not agreeing to the compromise agreement?
- The first £30,000 is tax free - how long would it take to earn the tax free sum, do you anticipate that you would be offered alternative employment within this time scale?
- Are there any other provisions that can be added or should be taken into account, such as an agreed reference and the goodwill of your employer within your industry sector?
- Does the compromise agreement reflect the deal?
- What are the chances that the employer would increase the deal easily, or has the employer offered better deals to other employees?
This is not a comprehensive list of all the issues, but the advice of an employment solicitor should be sought at the earliest opportunity.