A settlement agreement, formerly known as a compromise agreement, is a legal contract between an employer and an employee. This is a guilt-free way to end your employment relationship, where you usually get financial compensation. Your employer will usually pay for independent legal advice. Indeed, if you sign a settlement agreement without first seeking independent legal advice, you can always go to an employment court. So you are a worker and your employer just mentioned the words “transaction agreement”. What does that mean? How will this affect you? What do I need to know? Don`t worry. Then you`ve come to the right place. We hope to give you all the information you need to know about transaction agreements by answering the questions we are most often asked. So, what is a compromise agreement and what is the benefit to you (and your employer) when using it? Aim high, but be willing to compromise.
To reach an agreement, both parties must feel that the agreement is fair. If a lawyer advises you on a settlement agreement, but you decide not to accept the proposed terms, you may still have to pay all of your lawyer`s fees. The obligation for your employer to contribute to your lawyers` fees is only valid if you sign the settlement agreement. Your lawyer will explain the consequences. For a compromise agreement to be legally binding, a number of conditions must be met: a settlement agreement is essentially a way for you and your employer to “separate” on certain agreed terms. Depending on the terms, you waive your right (or waive your right to assert your rights against your employer). Settlement agreements can also be used to terminate your employment relationship and to settle an ongoing right that you assert in a court or labour court. And that`s the best part. A good labour advocate can challenge the amount proposed as part of the agreement and negotiate an increase – or plead for the employer to commit to the compromise agreement.
Many employers may be sensitive to these requests when a reasoned argument is put forward and there is an appropriate legal basis. As the cipd survey revealed, the average time for management to process a compromise agreement is much lower than it would be if the case were before a labour court. So there are commercial considerations, especially in the current financial climate. Unless ACAS participated in and organised a comparison of COT3, COT3 being the name of the form used, compromise agreements are the only way in which a worker can waive legal rights such as unfair dismissal, discrimination or the right to severance pay.  The agreement is only valid if (i) it has been in writing and (ii) the worker has received independent legal advice from a competent advisor with professional liability insurance. A staff member cannot compromise potential future claims, although claims already created, which are not known to the employee, may be voided. Section 203 of the Employment Rights Act 1996 sets out the conditions for the validity of compromise agreements. The Equal Opportunities Act 2010 also regulates the conditions for the validity of compromise agreements, but a possible mislantation may have undermined the scope of compromise agreements aimed at resolving complaints of discrimination. .