How do I get a compromise agreement? - Paul Doran Law

Belfast Office
12 Carnmoney Road
County Antrim BT36 6HN

Leeds Office
West One
114 Wellington Street
West Yorkshire

London Office
124 City Road
London EC1V 2NX

Newcastle Office
Gear House
Saltmeadows Road
Tyne and Wear NE8 3AH

Telephone: 0808 1687 288

How do I get a compromise agreement?

How do I get a compromise agreementHow do I get a compromise agreement?

If you’ve been offered a compromise agreement by your employer, it probably means you’re in Northern Ireland. So are we. Our main base is just outside Belfast – in Glengormley, County Antrim. We also have offices in Leeds, London and Gateshead, which means we can assist clients across the UK.

This article tells you more about compromise agreements.

What is a compromise agreement?

A compromise agreement is known as a settlement agreement in the rest of the UK. The name changed over there in 2013 because it was thought ‘settlement’ was a better descriptor – the agreement reached is not necessarily a compromise.

However, it’s still known as a compromise agreement in Northern Ireland, and it’s basically the same thing.

So what is it?

Usually, the compromise is that you agree not to take your employer to the employment tribunal, while they agree to pay you a sum of money – the settlement.

Sometimes the compromise agreement is known as a non-disclosure agreement or NDA, because you might agree to keep the agreement a secret. If you lose your job as part of the deal, it might be known as a severance agreement.

What’s the law around compromise agreements?

Because a compromise agreement is a legally binding document, you have to take independent legal advice before you sign it. That’s where employment lawyers like us come in. We have the experience to advise you whether your employer has made you a reasonable offer, or whether we could help you to negotiate better terms. As well as giving advice as required by law, we help take away the stress and ensure you get the best deal.

For example, we might find you’ve been discriminated against, or that the process your employer used to dismiss you was unfair. If that happens, we can help to make a bigger claim on your behalf. Or we can arrange for part of your settlement to be paid into your pension, which means it will be free of tax. Or we could negotiate permission for you to discuss the compromise agreement with your immediate family, instead of keeping it completely secret.

As you can tell, there’s a lot to consider, so it’s wise to talk to us early.

When might you get a compromise agreement?

One common reason you’ll be offered a compromise agreement is because your job role is being made redundant. If you get offered a compromise agreement instead of redundancy, talk to us as your legal advisers so we can ensure the offer that’s been made to you is fair.

The other main reason is because your employer has behaved badly towards you in some way, and you’re being offered a settlement by way of compensation. For example you might have been bullied, harassed or intimidated or victimised at work.

If you have a protected characteristic and you’ve been discriminated against, you might have conversations with your employer that they describe as ‘off the record’ or ‘without prejudice’. However, anything said in those circumstances can be used as evidence at the tribunal, no matter what your employer may say. Again, it’s important to take expert advice about this.

Note that your employer is not allowed to put pressure on you to accept the compromise agreement you’ve been offered. Acas suggests that 10 days is a reasonable amount of time to consider whether or not you’ll accept the offer. That’s plenty of time to start gathering evidence and arrange to have an initial chat with us.

Why is a compromise agreement a good idea?

The UK government encourages employers and employees to reach a compromise (or settlement) rather than go to the tribunal, as it’s quicker, easier and cheaper for everyone.

Your employer is likely to prefer to reach a compromise agreement rather than going to the tribunal, because court costs can mount up (the employer usually has to pay), the process can take time, and the outcome is uncertain.

You’ll probably prefer it too, because you’ll get a speedy payment so you can move on. It’s a nice clean break that leaves you with money in the bank – maybe even tax-free money.

On the other hand, if you have a strong case, it might be best to go ahead and make a claim at the tribunal. When we speak, we’ll let you know your chances of winning, and how much you might be entitled to.

What does a compromise agreement include?

The amount of money included in the settlement is made up of various elements depending on your situation.

For example: it could include any redundancy pay you’re entitled to or an element of compensation, payment in lieu of notice (PILON), outstanding holiday pay plus commission and bonuses, and other employment benefits such as your company car and mobile phone.

As part of the negotiations, you might request items of value to you that don’t cost money, such as a good reference to help you find another job.

Your employer might request items that are of value to them, such as your promise not to work for a competitor for a certain period of time, or a commitment not to poach any of their staff.

Note that, if you’re working your notice period, you should continue to make pension contributions unless your contract of employment says otherwise.

How much will I get in my compromise agreement?

It’s a complicated question to answer in an article because every situation is different. Give us a call and we’ll let you know what applies to you.

There is a legal minimum in the case of redundancy, otherwise, the amount you’ll get depends on your individual situation.

The first £30,000 of compensation and redundancy payments are tax-free, while tax and National Insurance are due on any PILON you may receive.

You will usually receive your settlement within 7 to 28 days after both you and your employer have signed the compromise agreement, together with any outstanding salary, holiday pay, commission or bonuses being paid through the company’s usual payroll system.

Related reading

If you found this information useful, you might also like to read some of our other articles on the subject:

Need help?

For a FREE assessment of your case, call 0808 168 7288 or complete a Free Online Enquiry.

We have already helped thousands of people to win millions of pounds in compensation.

See what they say >

You have a choice of ways to pay, including ‘no win, no fee’.

Browse funding options

Back to all news

Share Article With:

Call us on
0808 1687288
or fill in this
Free Online Enquiry

(no cost or obligation)

We will only use the information you provide to handle your enquiry, and we will never share it with any third parties.

What Our Clients Say

I found all the staff to be knowledgeable and highly professional. Stephanie W

My experience has been a very professional one. The case ran smoothly from the get go. I was always kept in the loop. Dinah T

Up to date information. Easy to contact. Knowledgeable solicitor. No win without him. Audrey S

Very good. Always stayed within the timescales given. Sound advice, would recommend. Ken S

Efficient and helpful. Takes the claimant points into consideration. Angela R

Paul Doran Law has been extremely helpful and supportive in very difficult circumstances. I would highly recommend them as professionals to others and have a lot of faith in their advice. David R

Although a lengthy case I have been constantly updated throughout. Susan R

Paul answered me promptly, was very helpful and advised me what to do. Winifred P

Paul Doran was very helpful during my communication. Friendly and professional. Adrian M

Cormac is a very reassuring person, he made sure I was kept up to date as my case progressed and was always supportive when I got the jitters. He was very diligent and methodical whilst representing me. Iain M

Professional approach and positive attitude. Shirley M

Competent and efficient and very pleasant to deal with. Cloda McN

Cormac explained my options and talked me through each step and advised me of the best possible outcome. Gerard McL

Very helpful. Emma McA

Satisfied with service. Susan H

Very satisfied with the professional way case was handled. Evelyn H

Staff and solicitor very helpful at all times. Solicitor very knowledgeable and took my case and concerns seriously, and in a very professional manner. Deborah H

Friendly, efficient and very professional. Charlotte G

Very friendly and competent service. Peter G

My experience using Paul was very professional at all times. Kept me up to date at all times throughout the process. Blanche G

Very professional, friendly and efficient. Kept me informed throughout the process. Straight forward service which is exactly what I needed. Paula F

Good end result, Paul did a lot of work. Thank you. Lyn E

Felt at ease and was listened to; got excellent advice. Gemma D

Very professional and always willing to help and offer advice when needed on the situation. Lytreena D

Outstanding, friendly service from start to finish. Matthew C

Very professional and always left valued as a client. I feel that the company has worked very hard to get me a good result. Christine C

From day one there was a plan of action. I feel I was listened to and heard, after which the process was then easy. Kanta C

I would highly recommend. Karen B

Confident in representation. June B

Very happy with all aspects of my experience from initial contact to finish. Andrew B

Understanding and very prompt. Michelle W

Completely professional, and secured a settlement beyond my expectations. Cormac was exceptional – very many thanks. Joan W

Very happy with results. Very grateful for all Paul and his team have done for me. I feel valued as a client, my questions were always answered very quickly. Thank you. Anna V

Very good, professional. Amida S

Always responsive, courteous and supportive. Would recommend to friends and family without hesitation. David S

Easy and efficient and professional at all times. Stephanie R

Very good. Yusuf O

Excellent, efficient and prompt legal advice. Very satisfied with service provided. Lisa N

It took me a long time to find a solicitor who would support my case. I’m so glad I found Paul Doran Law who brought me success. Shirley N

I have had a very pleasant experience using Paul Doran Law and would definitely use again. Rebecca McM

The service was always informative, dignified and respectful. Chloe McL

I would definitely recommend. Colleen McB

Cormac was excellent from start to finish. I have already recommended him to friends and family. Sam M

Paul Doran Law were professional and very concerned about my feelings and what I had been through. I felt that they cared. Lisa M

Professional, helpful, very knowledgeable. Highly recommended. Bekki M

I found Cormac very compassionate and was always there as I had a lot of queries. Stephen McG

Impressed with accessibly, speed of response and professionalism. Edna L

Cormac was very professional and reassuring at all times. Kat K

Great, a good experience. Thank you. Mary K

Professional, efficient and friendly. Tabitha K

Very well treated throughout. I was always listened to and my questions answered. Allan H

I found Mr Rice to be professional, amiable and my overall experience was a positive one. Marcel G

I received valued information initially and came back later to receive a very satisfactory outcome. Lyn F

Put at ease very early on which helped me feel less stress. Harry D

I can’t thank you enough. I am so glad with the outcome and will recommend you. Christopher B

Cormac was great. Tom B

I would recommend Paul’s legal service as it is professional and thorough. Shelia H

This claim has been handled professionally and without delays. I am totally satisfied. Kelly L

Should the need arise I would definitely use Paul Doran’s services again. Suzie U

Any queries were answered quickly with detailed responses.  Sharon H

Everything was written very simply and in plain English which was good. Sylvia B

When time lines have been set, they have been met. I did not just feel like a case number. Karen S

When I emailed, Paul replied straight away.Very friendly and easy to talk to. Rita C

Paul was very thorough and helpful and successfully brought my case to an end. Margaret C

I feel strongly that Paul cares about clients. Pamela R

Paul was very reasonable and fair regarding the fees deducted from my claim offer I was awarded. Deborah McM

Very professional all the way through the process. Sharon C

I found all the staff to be knowledgeable and highly professional. Stephanie W

Well informed and easy to contact. I wouldn’t have won my case without him. Audrey S

Very good. Always stayed within the timescales given. Sound advice. Would recommend. Ken S

Efficient. Helpful. Take the clients points into consideration. Angela R

Paul Doran Law has been extremely helpful and supportive in very difficult circumstances. David R

Although a lengthy case, I have been constantly updated throughout. Jenny R

Professional and efficient service with helpful and friendly staff. Susan R

My case was handled professionally and my solicitor was very understanding and quick to respond. Eleanor P

Paul was very helpful and friendly. Adrian M

Cormac is a very reassuring person. He was very supportive when I got the jitters. Iain M

Kept going when it did not good and achieved a successful outcome. Shirley M

Competent, efficient and very pleasant to deal with. Cloda McN

Cormac deserves a salary for counselling alone! Lesley A

Cormac explained my options and talked me through each step and advised me of the best possible outcome. Gerard McL

They were quick to get things sorted. Emma McA

Very satisfied with the outcome to my case. Evelyn H

Solicitor very knowledgeable and took my case and concerns seriously in a very professional manner. Deborah H

Friendly, efficient and very professional. Charlotte G

I liked the personal touch. I received phone calls with updates instead of relying on letters all of the time. Sharon C

Very friendly and competent service. Peter G

Very professional. Kept me up to date at all times throughout the process. Blanche G

Straightforward service which is exactly what I needed. Paula F

Good end result. Paul did a lot of work. Lyn E

Very professional and always willing to help and offer advice when needed. Lytreena D

Very pleasant manner from staff and solicitors. Sara C

Outstanding. Friendly service from start to finish. Matthew C

I feel the company worked very hard to get the result. Christine C

From day one there was a plan of action. I feel I was listened to and heard after which to prove the case got easy. Kanta C

I would highly recommend. Karen B

Very good overall service. Judith B

Very happy with all aspects of my experience from initial contact to finish. Andrew B

Very professional, friendly and efficient. Kept me informed throughout the process. Paula F

Very professional. I always felt valued as a client Christine C

Paul was extremely professional and efficient Lesley A

Outstanding – friendly service from start to finish Matthew C

Paul Doran was very helpful during my communications, friendly & professional. Adrian M

I found right from the beginning Paul was very friendly and easy to ask questions at any time. Rita C

Paul is prompt, friendly and approachable. I liked how he was committed to my case and kept me informed. Judith P

I appreciate the thorough and expedient manner to which the task was completed. Barbara H

I feel Paul really cares about his clients and works to get the best outcome and justice for them.  Elaine S

My claim has been handled professionaly and without delays.  I am totally satisfied. Kelly L

Paul’s legal service is professional and thorough. Sharon H

I entrusted him with something that was very important to me and he did not let me down. Deborah McM

I was in contact with Paul on many occasions and all queries were dealt with personally and politely. Judith C

It has been a pleasure using Paul Doran Law. I would recommend him to friends and family. Sylvia B

Cormac was an absolute pleasure to work with – very polite, helpful, and thoughtful. Jessica D

Paul was polite and considerate and efficient. I would highly recommend this firm Geraldine A

I have been very impressed by the industry knowledge and the level of service provided. Nuala M

Quick, honest and responsive.

J Chambers

The service provided has been delivered beyond expectation.

K L Stokoe

Recommend without reservation.

J Taylor

If Paul had not taken on my case, I would not have received monies owed to me. E Shefford

I would recommend Paul’s legal service as it is professional and thorough. S Hall

View more testimonials

Why Choose Us?

  • We only work for employees
  • 25+ Years' Experience
  • No Win, No Fee available
  • Insurance to protect against Tribunal fees