These days many United Kingdom-based employers and employees decide to use an employment compromise agreement in order to sort out a dispute or issues relating to termination of employment. These issues can relate to matter such as redundancy, dismissal, unfair dismissal, and even issues relating to disputes where the employment itself is not being terminated.
Such a UK compromise agreement is however a legally binding agreement, and when the employee signs the agreement he or she is not only accepting the offer being made by the employer but is also signing in agreement to the terms of the agreement. Therefore what it means to sign an employment compromise agreement will depend largely on what is contained in the terms of the agreement.
These agreements are used to avoid tribunal action being taken against the employer by the employee. Taking tribunal action is often something that both the employer and the employee would prefer to avoid, as it can be costly, long winded, stressful, and can take a lot of time before a resolution is reached. A compromise agreement on the other hand provides a swift and hassle free solution, enabling the employee to get compensation or a settlement with regards to the issue and enabling the employer to avoid tribunal action.
When you sign a compromise agreement you will usually be signing away your right to take further action relating to the issue in exchange of the settlement being offered as part of the agreement. There are some issues, however, where you will still retain the right to take further legal action even after signing the agreement. Such circumstances include the situation which arises if your employer breaches the terms of the agreement, any claims for personal injury (with the likely exclusion of injuries that you were aware of at the time of signing), and accrued pension issues.
When you sign the agreement you will also be agreeing to the other terms that are included in the agreement, which is why it is vital that you check the terms very carefully and understand exactly what you are actually agreeing to – and why you will need the help of a specialist compromise agreement solicitor who will be able to explain the contents of the agreement to you and whose advice is actually necessary to make the compromise agreement itself enforceable. This can include things like agreeing to keep the terms of the agreement confidential, agreeing not to speak to the press about the issues, and even agreeing to keep quiet about the fact that there has even been a compromise agreement. These are just some of the more common terms that are often included in these agreements – you need to ensure that the actual terms of specific agreements are properly explained to you so that you know exactly what you are signing.