What happens if I am not happy with the compromise agreement?

You do not have to sign, and this means you are free to make a claim to an employment tribunal, which you must do within 3 months of leaving.

However, refusing to sign would mean that the employer could then withdraw any beneficial terms that they had offered, and they would be under no obligation to re-offer them, so refusing to sign needs to be given serious thought, and proper advice should be sought.

That said, it is usually to the employer’s benefit for you to sign – recent research showed that more than 80% of employers would rather use a compromise agreement than face a tribunal claim, so if you really feel that the terms are unfair, you or your representative should say so, and calmly but firmly try to negotiate – while also being practical about what is achievable – for a fairer settlement. Many employers will expect you to negotiate up from their initial offer, but they will almost certainly have a ceiling or final settlement amount in mind.