Deed of Release Advice

A deed of release is a signed document between an employer and employee which creates legally enforceable terms of a termination. The basis of the agreement is that the employer offers financial compensation in exchange for legal obligations.

Common terms within a deed of release include; the amount offered to the employee, confidentiality surrounding the termination, restrictions on the employee’s ability to sue the employer for unfair dismissal purposes and control on the use of the employer’s confidential information. A deed of release usually favours the employer as they restrict an employee from commencing legal proceedings.

An employee has the right to seek legal advice before signing the deed of release, and the ability to negotiate terms within the deed. If negotiated properly, a deed of release is more convenient for both parties and bypasses any further need for mediation or litigation. However, once the deed is signed, it becomes legally enforceable and both parties are bound by the terms within.

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  • May 2020

    I found Arthur Hambas & Katherine Boyles extremely professional & compassionate in my dealings with them. After telling Arthur that I felt the details surrounding my redundancy felt wrong he took on my case & secured me a better payout from my employer. I would not hesitate to recommend Mcdonald Murholme to anyone that has a feeling that something isn't quite right. I greatly appreciate everything you did.
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Deed Of Release?

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Frequently asked deed of release advice questions

I was forced to sign a deed of release before reading the terms.

Usually, once a deed of release is signed, it is accepted to have been agreed by both parties and legally enforceable. However, you may be able to have your deed of release set aside depending on all of the facts and circumstances surrounding your matter; specifically, whether there was any duress, undue influence and unconscionable bargaining involved.

I signed a deed of release and my employer is making disparaging comments about me. What can I do?

If there is a favourable non-disparagement clause and your former employer has made disparaging comments following your departure, you should seek legal advice as to how you may be able to bring a claim against your former employer.

If your former employer is not caught under a breach of a non-disparagement clause, you should consult a lawyer to review the content of the DOR to assess if there are any alternative avenues available.

My employer has provided me with a deed of release. What are my rights?

You have the right to seek legal advice before signing the deed of release. You may also refuse to sign the deed and negotiate terms of the settlement.

My previous employer sent me a deed of release after I made a claim for unfair dismissal. Can I accept the financial compensation within the deed and continue with my unfair dismissal claim?

If the deed of release includes a term which requires the ex-employee to discontinue the ongoing claim, you will need to discontinue the claim to receive the compensation. However, if there is no express clause requiring the employee to discontinue, you should seek legal advice regarding the ability to continue the ongoing claim.

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