Free deed of release – redundancy templates (Australia)

Ensure an efficient and finalised exit process for employees that you have to let go.

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Making an employee redundant can be a difficult time for all parties involved. This being said, there are ways to make the process run a lot smoother. One of these is by using a well-written deed of release.

So, exactly what is a deed of release? And how do you write one?

We're here to explain everything about this useful document.

What is a deed of release for redundancy?

A deed of release is a legally binding document that employers use to aid the process when an employee is made redundant. It addresses the terms and conditions of the agreement and seeks to ensure that neither party can pursue legal action against the other in the future.

Deed of release (redundancy) template from Lawpath

Download this template at Lawpath

When should I use a deed of release for redundancy?

A deed of release for redundancy should be used when an employee is leaving an employer due to redundancy. It can be useful in ironing out the final terms and conditions between the employer and employee.

When else can a deed of release be used?

A more general deed of release can help to bring an agreement or dispute to an end in a variety of situations. These include:

  • Settling a commercial disagreement,
  • Terminating a personal guarantee,
  • Ending a loan agreement such as a mortgage,
  • Termination of employment.

What does a deed of release for redundancy include and not include?

What's included?

A deed of release should address the terms and conditions of the redundancy agreement. It should cover information concerning:

  • Conditions of the settlement,
  • Settlement amount that the employer will pay the employee,
  • What both parties can and can't do by entering into the agreement.

What's not included?

There are certain clauses that a deed of release cannot and should not contain. A deed of release cannot:

  • Include unreasonable provisions that are against public policy or law,
  • Bind third parties within its clauses.

How effective is a deed of release?

When used in the context of employment, a deed of release can be a valuable document to put in place. It proves useful as an alternative to court proceedings, allowing each party to have their say in the terms and conditions of the document and the freedom to express their views.

As an employer, a deed of release can also help to protect you from unfair dismissal claims. As an employee, it will help you to leave your current employer under more favourable conditions.

Do I need a lawyer for a deed of release?

Getting a deed of release wrong can cause many problems, which is why it's best practice to ask a lawyer to help you to draft and finalize your document.

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How do I write a deed of release?

Writing a deed of release depends entirely on the nature of the dispute at hand and the terms outlined in the employment agreement.

A few key points that you'll find in most deed of release, redundancy, documents include:

  • Payment. During redundancy, the employer usually agrees to give a lump sum payment to the employee. This should take into account any money owed to or by either party, including unpaid wages and holidays.
  • Release from liability. A clause to release the employee from all of their current employment obligations.
  • Confidentiality. A confidentiality clause will stop both parties from disclosing information divulged during the deed of release to any outside parties.
  • Statement of service. Acknowledgement that the employer will provide a reference that contains information about the employee's work with the company. This can help an employee to find future employment.
  • Non-disparagement. A non-disparagement clause will prevent an employee from bad-mouthing the company now or in the future and vice versa.
  • Post-employment obligations. An employer can choose to include clauses that prevent the employee from working for a competing company or from continuing to contact specific clients.

Are there any risks in signing a deed of release?

In some cases, a deed of release can limit an employee's legal rights. For this reason, it's important to read the document carefully before signing it and to seek legal help if you're not sure about some of the clauses.

To get started, it's a good idea to use a deed of release template. Here are a few places you can find a template to get the ball rolling:

  • Lawpath. Sign up to Lawpath's legal services and enjoy your deed of release, redundancy template for free.
  • LegalVision. Gain access to unlimited legal templates, including a deed of release, for a monthly membership fee.
  • Fairwork. Find information and advice about workplace rights along with a deed of release example to take inspiration from.
  • Wonder.Legal. Home to hundreds of legal templates including a customizable deed of release template that you can purchase for a one-time fee.
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