Right from the start you had a bad feeling about this employee, and now you’re wishing you’d trusted your instincts. She just won’t ever compromise and is possibly the worst employee you’ve ever had!
Sadly, she wouldn’t, however hard you tried to keep her happy, stay cheerful and maintain your sanity. You felt like you spent a lot of time listening to her and tried really hard to allay her complaints and stop her from being unhappy.
To no avail and when she handed in her notice, relief swept over you. Well, for a while. Then you had the hideous thought that she might take all her complaints to a further stage: to a Court and claim an extortionate compensation sum. She simply wasn’t the sort to agree to a sensible compromise.
You chat to a fellow employer who hears your worries, and says that you should take advice on a compromise agreement from a solicitor. Ridiculous thought! The woman would never agree to swapping a coffee break! Either way, you’re furious that the woman got the better of you; if only you had known for sure what would have made her happy.
Stop. If you approach her to open a discussion, she might respond – and especially through a third party such as a lawyer. It’s well worth pursuing because she may have longed for the chance to discuss her problems with an independent advisor; she may have felt that, for whatever reason, she couldn’t talk to you. She may also dread the thought you could blacklist her and ruin her chances of different employment elsewhere. She might be benefited by a compromise agreement – it could help her to calm down and find a more appropriate job.
You could find that she thinks that taking her complaints to tribunal is the only way to put her resentments forward, but, like you, is worried and stressed by what it might involve.
It’s so easy to assume – and assume wrongly. Most people will see the logic in a compromise agreement as a legal binding document that helps both parties.
First, consult an experienced compromise agreement solicitor and talk to him about your worries to get an idea of how easy it is to draw up a compromise agreement – by now your former employee might have calmed down enough.