If a transaction agreement is submitted to you and you need a guide through this process, talk to one of our eight employees who regularly advise employees in transaction agreements, or check out our “Transaction Agreement” page set out on our website. Often an agreed reference is part of the transaction agreement, with a clause stating that the employer does not deviate from the text agreed under the contract when referring to the worker. As a starting point, you should read the transaction contract carefully. A transaction contract can only become legally binding if you have used independent legal advice on the terms. This means that you have an obligation to bring a copy of the agreement to an employment lawyer. Your employer can contact you with a lawyer or you can choose a lawyer. A transaction agreement may include a commitment from your employer to give an indication of you if he is asked to do so. The text and form of the reference can also be agreed with the transaction agreement – sometimes as an appendix to the agreement itself. However, as a general rule, if you sign a transaction agreement, you should consider that it is a feature of everything that has happened between you and your employer and that you cannot assert rights against them. It is important that you understand everything in the agreement, and if there is something you cannot respect (or a term you have already violated), you should discuss it with your lawyer. There are very few exceptions: some types of rights cannot even be enacted with a transaction contract. The most common example is the assault that you are not aware of at the time of signing the contract.
For example, an allegation about industrial diseases in which you were unknowingly exposed to asbestos in the workplace, the transaction contract would not prevent you from taking legal action against your employer if you discovered years later that you had developed asbestosis because of this exposure. Most employers (and their lawyers) use standard billing agreements designed to be “unit-friendly.” If there are certain claims that are obviously more likely to be applicable in your circumstances, they are sometimes mentioned separately in the agreement. They are sometimes referred to as “special claims.” Unfair dismissal is the most common, but if you resigned in the context of a health problem, discrimination on the basis of disability would also be a special right. For example, you informed colleagues of your negotiations before seeing the confidentiality clause and they understood that you had to keep the existence of the agreement confidential. If you sign a clause that you have already violated (or if you violate the clause after signing) and your employer finds out, they may argue that they no longer need to respect their side of the bargain. You can refuse to pay compensation or even try to recover money they have already paid you. The agreement will likely include a legal fee for the cost of your legal fees. The value of this contribution varies, but generally ranges from $350 plus VAT to $500 plus VAT. The contribution may be higher depending on the circumstances.