Unfair Dismissal and Your Compromise Agreement

The Employment Rights Act 1996 and other legislation provide that statutory claims, such as unfair dismissal, can only be settled in one of three ways.

Oh dear, this sounds like a whole bumph of legal jargon about to come in an incomprehensible overload. Do I really have to wade through a pile of Acts, Laws and sub-Laws and long lists of ‘rights’ and ‘clauses’? I just want to reach some sort of settlement for my feelings and feel I have been treated fairly after leaving my job? Can’t I just dump all this onto a solicitor, run away and come back and find it’s all over?

Not quite, but nearly. Think about a UK compromise agreement instead. It’s simple, will not cost you and offers a fair solution to both parties.

One of the ways a dispute over dismissal from your job or, under another heading, parting company, can be resolved, is through a compromise agreement.

Think about this seriously because the other ways are:

  • an agreed order of the tribunal
  • an agreement in the form COT3, which has been agreed through ACAS, after the commencement of tribunal proceedings.

Sounds quite horrendous, doesn’t it? So why put yourself through such stress and fatigue when all that may be needed is to reach an agreed out of court settlement with your employer and, hey presto, it’s done and dusted.

Consider the fact that any other form of agreement other than these three routes will not prevent you as an employee from commencing an employment tribunal claim after you have left – and that would be unfair on your employer.

To be valid, the employment compromise agreement must be in writing and specify the nature of the claims which are being resolved.

As an employee you need to receive independent legal advice from a qualified advisor who has a relevant policy of insurance. This advisor, usually a qualified solicitor, must be named and this person needs to verify that the various conditions that relate to a compromise agreement have been met. In taking legal advice, it's always a good idea to instruct a specialist Compromise Agreement Solicitor.

Worried about extortionate legal costs? Don’t be. It isn’t set in legal stone that the employer pays the costs of your compromise agreement solicitor, but it is a fairly customary practice. It may also be limited to a maximum, specified sum but hey, your problem solved, you avoid the much heavier cost of tribunal proceedings. In addition, there can be no further comeback by either party and you both walk away feeling relief and an end to a sorry tale. Equally don't worry at this stage if you think your claim is worth far more than the amount offered by your employer under the compromise agreement. Firstly any good compromise agreement solicitor will negotiate hard for a better payment – if you still feel that the amount offered is too little, some solicitors run no win no fee unfair dismissal claims – so you wouldn't have to worry about running up substantial legal costs.

For expert legal advice on  Hampshire, Wiltshire or Dorset Compromise Agreements - from Swindon to Southampton -  contact our Employment Solicitors today.

Employment Law Team

For legal advice on employment law issues, contact our Employment Solicitors:

Salisbury Office
  Nigel Mills
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  tel: Salisbury (01722) 422300
 
Alan Jenner
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  tel: Salisbury (01722) 422300