A Deed of Release allows parties to settle on a matter without any admission of liability. It can protect the employer in relation to an array of potentially problematic issues arising from an employee’s separation from the workplace.

Protection from future claims

A Deed of Release will incorporate a release and indemnity clause which protects the employer from any future claims. In particular, when a deed is drafted carefully it can serve as an effective tool to ensure that any potential grievances and litigation cannot be commenced. The protection from a deed encompasses all grievances in relation to employment, ensuring that the organisation’s resources can be diverted away from defending unfair dismissal claims, general protections claims and other contentious issues. The sense of certainty that arises from this provision is of immense value to an employer.

A Deed of Release can also be used to compel an employee to discontinue any proceedings currently on foot.

Optimal timing

A Deed of Release is an important tool in assisting both the employer and the employee to negotiate during a time period that would otherwise be complex to navigate. An employee’s separation from the firm can often be associated with emotion and cloud the strategic thinking of the parties. Accordingly, a Deed of Release can provide both parties with a strategic tool to engage in bona fide and frank negotiations.

Protect the privacy of your company

In a situation where the employee’s separation from the organisation is on contentious terms the Deed of Release can serve to protect the privacy of the organisation. A well drafted confidentiality and non-disparagement clause will ensure that any sensitive information from the organisation and arising from the terms of the Deed are protected. Likewise, a Deed of Release can ensure that the organisation receives all property that the employee may have had in their possession further ensuring that the interests of the organisation are fully protected.

The provisions in a Deed of Release must be drafted carefully to ensure that the courts will enforce the terms in circumstances where there is a breach. If you are an employer looking to enter into a Deed of Release please contact JFMLAW who can advise you on the matter.

Worksheets and guidelines for Deed of Release and other management tasks are available in our Manager’s Toolkit:

John Morrissey

John Morrissey

T: +61 2 9331 0266
E: john.morrissey@jfmlaw.com.au

John Morrissey has been a practising Sydney solicitor for 30 years, and for the past 20 a sole practitioner and the principal at JFMLAW.

His main focus employment law, advising small to medium-sized firms and their employees of their rights and obligations.

For many years he was a lecturer at UTS to students obtaining Masters in Human Resources Management with a focus on performance management and creating a culture of delivery in workplaces. John has acted for a significant number of employers, not only in developing a performance based culture in the workplace but also solving particular problems that arise relating to unfair dismissal, contract disputes, improper use of intellectual property or other property as well as enforcements of restraints of trade.

John is very happy to speak to any employer who has an issue on a free of charge basis by a phone call. Please feel free to ring John at anytime up to 6pm most days.
John Morrissey