What is a Settlement Agreement?
Settlement Agreements are agreements that can be used to settle employment claims that you have against your employer. This will usually involve the termination of your employment and compensation being paid to you for you to give up your employment claims.
Sometimes employers will offer you a Settlement Agreement when you are not even aware that there is a problem in the working relationship; in other instances, it will be clear that there are potential claims.
Either you or your employer are able to broach the possibility of entering into a Settlement Agreement. You might want to approach your employer if you have decided that there is no future in a continued employment relationship and you consider that you have employment claims. We can advise you before you initiate that discussion or write to your employer on your behalf.
What does it say in a Settlement Agreement?
There will be terms about the settlement of claims and compensation payable to you in the Agreement. In addition, the Agreement is likely to include other terms, such as:
- your employer agreeing to provide an agreed reference when a request is made about you by a future employer
- both parties agreeing to keep confidential the Agreement, its terms and the circumstances leading up to it and
- both parties refraining from making derogatory comments about the other.
These terms can give you reassurance in moving forward to look for a new job.
Do I have to take legal advice?
You will need to take independent legal advice about the terms of a Settlement Agreement so that your statutory employment claims are validly settled. An employer will normally pay a contribution towards legal costs for taking this advice. We are happy to advise on the terms of the Settlement Agreement and whether you are being offered a fair deal.
Are the terms of a Settlement Agreement negotiable?
In some cases, employers are prepared to negotiate on the terms of a Settlement Agreement. We can carry out those negotiations on your behalf, if you wish.
Is it better to sign a Settlement Agreement or bring claims in an Employment Tribunal?
This will depend on the claims that you have and the compensation offered to you. We usually find that entering into a Settlement Agreement is better as it avoids the uncertainty of Tribunal proceedings, as well as being quicker and cheaper.
If you have been given a Settlement Agreement or are thinking of leaving your employment under the terms of a Settlement Agreement, please contact our Employment Solicitor, Julia Woodhouse on 01564 776287 or email Julia at firstname.lastname@example.org. The above does not provide you with advice.