In Northern Ireland, compromise agreements are a way in which workplace disputes can be resolved and employment relationships finalised, but in a mutually agreed way. The process can be quite tricky, so expert legal advice from H McPartland & Sons can help aid in approaching, and negotiating the agreement terms. It is also a requirement for it to be legally binding.
Our specialist team can help workers going through this process with their employers, and answer the most common questions asked about the process of signing a compromise agreement.
What exactly is a compromise agreement?
In Great Britain, the term ‘settlement agreement’ is more commonly used, but here in Northern Ireland, compromise agreements are legally binding contracts used frequently to end an employment relationship on agreed terms by both parties.
The compromise agreement will set out the financial and all other terms on which the relationship will terminate. In order to be legally binding the following criteria must be met.
- The agreement must be in writing.
- The agreement must be signed by both the employer and employee.
- The employee must have the benefit of independent legal advice.
The more common settlement is a compensatory lump sum payment which is received after waiving legal rights to make a claim for unfair dismissal or to an industrial tribunal.
Why would a compromise agreement be offered?
It is usual for compromise agreements to be entered into where employment has terminated (or is about to terminate), but it is possible to enter one where employment is continuing.
Many statutory claims can be settled by a compromise agreement, for example, claims for:
- Unfair dismissal.
- Pregnancy or maternity-related discrimination.
- Discrimination, victimisation or harassment related to sexual orientation.
What are the benefits of a compromise agreement?
For an employee to get the best of a compromise agreement, seeking advice from a specialist solicitor like H McParland & Sons can help get the best settlement possible.
Employers have for many years now increasingly used compromise agreements as a mechanism for preventing possible future complaints or legal claims to a tribunal. It provides a clean and clear exit for both parties.
Not only does a compromise agreement avoid legal challenges, but it can also make it easier to remove employees on the grounds of poor performance or senior staff in an organisation without embarrassment so everyone can move forward.
Advice from a solicitor is essential throughout the entire compromise agreement process. At McPartland & Sons, we offer a free consultation to seek advice on this process, you will be able to find a specialist who can help with your situation.
Request a free solicitor consultation at Harry McPartland & Sons here.