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Lucie Mitchell

Sift Media

Freelance journalist and former editor of HRZone

Read more about Lucie Mitchell

HR tip: Termination arrangement for struggling employee

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These questions are being answered by Learn HR, a market leader in the provision of HR and payroll training and nationally-recognised professional qualifications.


Question:

"One of our long-serving employees is struggling to cope with work. We had no intention of dismissing him but he has said that he would like to leave and would do so if we pay him a stated sum of money. We are happy to do this but what, if anything, can we do to stop him then taking us to court for unfair dismissal?"

Answer:

You need to draw up a compromise agreement, setting out the terms of the settlement and making clear that it resolves any complaints the employee has or may have against the employer. This has to be signed by an independent solicitor so I suggest you draft out the terms, have the employee take it to a solicitor of his choice, and have the solicitor write the agreement. Obviously check it over before you sign it. If you have already agreed the terms with the employee, this is the only certain method of stopping him taking further action against you in connection with the ending of employment.

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3 Responses

  1. Compromise agreement
    There is a compromise agreement example on my website http://www.charlesprice.net under ‘precedents’ Make sure you get a lawyer to look at it properly. If Acas has been involved with the dispute resolution then you can use a ‘COT3 ‘ form which is just as water tight and equally effective.

  2. Compromise
    I have two comments
    Drafting good compromise agreements is not a DIY activity
    The issue around grievances is that you need a grievance to be able to raise the issue without prejudice but there is nothing to stop two willing partied from agreeing one without such a formality

  3. Validity of Compromise Agreement
    My understanding of the rules surrounding Compromise Agreements was that for an agreement to be valid it can only be entered into, if the parties involved are in dispute, i.e. that there is or may be an issue or breach, for which an employee could apply to a tribunal. In this case there is no breach or dispute at this point so while both parties could enter into a mutual agreement for the termination of employment, I don’t believe that a legally binding compromise agreement can be entered into. Clearly in a situation like this, it would be best to seek legal advice.

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Lucie Mitchell

Freelance journalist and former editor of HRZone

Read more from Lucie Mitchell
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