If you're considering dealing with your legal issue yourself, be aware that this is never a good idea. In fact, when it comes to compromise agreements, it's actually a legal requirement that the agreement is drawn up by a solicitor. Using an experienced compromise agreement solicitor will also give you the added peace of mind that everything has been done properly and that your best interests have been taken into account.
However, knowing which points will be covered by the compromise agreement will help. After all, leaving a job in disagreement or contentious circumstances isn't usually a nice process to go through. A little knowledge will help you face the process and recover more quickly. So, when going through the writing of your compromise agreement, watch out for the following points:
- Compromise agreements have to state the full breakdown of the payments you will receive for costs. Make sure that your agreement specifies the amount up to which the moneys paid will be free of tax - usually up to 㿊,000. Remember that you must give tax indemnity to your employer as part of the agreement. This is entirely usual.
- The compromise agreement provides for confidentiality. This means that not only will the terms of the agreement remain confidential, but your employer's business affairs and trade secrets. Agreeing to this will allow you to receive a small additional sum, usually a few hundred pounds. At this point you will also be required not to make any derogatory comments against your employer. It's a good idea to have these agreements for mutual benefit; the majority of employers are usually amenable to such requests.
- Your ability to work for a competitor and/or service old clients and customers could be hampered after you leave. This is a most important point - your solicitor will let you know if you will be bound to this type of agreement - referred to as a restrictive covenant.
- Surely you will find a long list of statutes in the compromise agreement: the Race Discrimination Act, Sex Discrimination Act, Employment Rights Act, etc. Don't get too anxious: these are statutory Acts that need to be taken into account. When you agree to the compromise, you are effectively stating that you won't be able to claim against your employer for these matters in the future.
Knowing all this will make it easier for you to talk about the compromise agreement with your solicitor. Get help from a professional, relax and feel more confident.