1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.
  2. Hi Guest, welcome to the TES Community!

    Connect with like-minded professionals and have your say on the issues that matter to you.

    Don't forget to look at the how to guide.

    Dismiss Notice

Compromise agreement.

Discussion in 'Personal' started by chocoholic1, Mar 20, 2009.

  1. chocoholic1

    chocoholic1 New commenter

    I've just been offered one of these after my request for voluntary redundancy was turned down. Is it a good idea to accept? I'm being made a scapegoat for the problems in our school, and have been threatened with capability. I know they don't have any grounds for capabilty, but I don't have the energy to fight it, and I don't want the capability tag on my record.
    So has anyone taken a capability agreement? What should I expect? I know aspects are open to negotiation but I don't know what to ask for.
     
  2. chocoholic1

    chocoholic1 New commenter

    I've just been offered one of these after my request for voluntary redundancy was turned down. Is it a good idea to accept? I'm being made a scapegoat for the problems in our school, and have been threatened with capability. I know they don't have any grounds for capabilty, but I don't have the energy to fight it, and I don't want the capability tag on my record.
    So has anyone taken a capability agreement? What should I expect? I know aspects are open to negotiation but I don't know what to ask for.
     
  3. Union - NOW!
     
  4. bombaysapphire

    bombaysapphire Star commenter

    A friend went through this a few years ago - not in teaching. The key elements were:
    - Confidentiality on both sides. You agree not to take them to a tribunal, they agree the wording of a reference with you and whoever is representing you.
    - They pay you to get lost!
    The upshot for her was that she left, with a cash settlement and a good reference. If that is what you are after then it might work for you.
    It will all depend on the situation though and you need a good lawyer - I agree with post 2. Contact your union immediately so they can sort one out for you.
     
  5. Gahh, I wrote a long post and then lost it all by accidentally pressing the back button :-(
    So a few things about compromise agreements:
    1. You usually pick your own solicitor, so they act for YOU, and are not acting for the school. The school will usually make a contribution to your legal costs - if the agreement is simple, look for £250 (about an hour and half's work for highly-qualified solicitor), if complicated, look for a bit more. This is fairly standard.
    2. Get on the internet, look for local solicitors, and find one who's an employment law specialist, preferably 4-5 years qualified or a partner. Unions generally have their pet firms and I have seen some pretty dodgy union-instructed ones, so I would be a bit cautious of what they recommend - do your own research.
    3. Your solicitor will usually go through the agreement page by page with you and explain everything before you sign it. They will also ask you about your contractual entitlements (notice pay etc), and probe you about the type of claims you may have against the school, to work out whether the settlement represents good value for you. Your solicitor is on your side - so they will tell you if it is a good deal, or if it doesn't look good, and you can instruct them to press for more (although usually if the average tribunal award is slightly more you can consider yourself with a bargain as going to tribunal costs about £15,000, and you pay your own costs.. it's not like civil courts where you claim it from the other side).
    4. You can agree the reference wording specifically as part of the compromise agreement and have it included as an appendix or a schedule. This makes it a binding part of the agreement and the school cannot change it without leaving themselves open to a lawsuit.
    5. Usually compromise agreements will permit you to share the terms with household and/or immediate family - it would be a bit silly to forbid this. However neither you nor the school will be permitted to break the confidentiality of the agreement and tell your old colleagues or managers what the terms are.
    Compromise agreements are usually a good deal as they represent a way out of potential lawsuits for the employer, and agreed terms of departure and a cash payment for an employee who may be disgruntled at the manner of departure or the path that led to it, but gets a chance to work out a reference and sort things out properly without the stress of having to sue a former employer.
     
  6. Go to your Union - Area Rep - that's what you pay your subs for. You don't need to pay for anything else. The advice above is good, but you DO NOT NEED TO SHELL OUT. You are covered by your Union. Use them TODAY.
     
  7. You shouldn't need to shell out anyway, the school's contribution should cover the legal costs and the lawyer should bill them directly. And if it is more complicated, ask for a higher contribution. Don't think I've seen any employer refuse it if it's to cover reasonable costs.
    Nice to have the union as extra back up though, I agree.
     
  8. Anonymous

    Anonymous New commenter

    fire girl is correct - this is a union matter.
    If you're not with a union then ensure that the lawyer is experienced in education matters - which is something that union lawyers are.
    It may well be different in England but we use top employment lawyers in scotland - why pay for their services when you can get them for the cost of your subs.
     
  9. I would NEVER consider the union to be 'extra back up' in a million years, I consider them to be first port of call.
     
  10. Anonymous

    Anonymous New commenter

    Obviously I agree. Teachers terms and conditions of service tend to be quite different from other employees and it's not easy to find a lawyer who specialises in them as unions tend to use the bigger firms.
    I'd be surprised if most lawyers' firms had much reason to know about lawyers that teaching unions use.
     
  11. chocoholic1

    chocoholic1 New commenter

    Thanks. I have contacted the union. They are representing me at the meeting. They seemed to think it was fairly straightforward, they offer me a sum of money (probably around £1,500 - about half the amount I would have got for redundancy). In return I sign the piece of paper and leave at the end of the school year.

     
  12. The Union are great and should make sure that the sum of money is enough (is what you deserve- don't settle for less) , is TAX FREE - they give it to you in full, and I would also try and negotiate for immediate dismissal without your hands being tied regarding getting another job. Viz you leave straight away but are allowed to do supply if you wish in the same area, some agreements will try and stop you doing that.
    Union will look after you I'm sure.
     

Share This Page