Settlement Agreements

You shouldn’t have to pay a penny to complete your Settlement Agreement.

We guarantee you won’t have to pay anything when your employer makes a contribution towards costs.

You will get the same excellent service no-matter how much we are being paid by your employer. We will do everything we can to get you the best deal possible – and we are very, very good at it too.

 

What is a Settlement Agreement?

They are more common than you think – but because the terms and existence of the Agreement are confidential, you won’t usually hear of someone receiving one.

A Settlement Agreement (or Compromise Agreement as they used to be known) is a legally binding contract between you and your employer. They are usually used to settle a claim or a dispute to stop it going any further – but they are also common where there is a voluntary redundancy situation or where an employer  wants to be protected when someone is leaving with an exit package. There doesn’t always need to be a dispute – you could be leaving on good terms.

You will usually receive a lump sum and an agreed reference as part of the settlement.

 

Why do I need advice from a solicitor?

It’s the law. Without evidence that you have had independent legal advice, your employer won’t have to pay you the settlement because the agreement won’t be binding.

Contact us as soon as a Settlement Agreement is mentioned. We are very good at what we do and have the experience to get you the best deal possible.

Once you sign the agreement there is no going back to negotiate for more, so you need to have confidence your adviser knows what they are doing and that the deal you are accepting is the best you can get. If it’s not in your interests to sign, we’ll be honest and tell you so at the start.

It’s therefore really important that you get advice from an expert who knows what claims for compensation you have and how valuable they are, so you can make an informed decision about whether to accept the Settlement Agreement offer.

We’d like to talk to you to see what we can do to help, so please, call us anytime for free on 08000 614 631 or use the online form below to get in touch.

 

What are the benefits of a Settlement Agreement?

  • You will receive a lump sum – up to £30,000 could be tax-free.
  • An agreed reference will help you find work without the worry of what your employer might otherwise say.
  • Everything is confidential. This keeps your reputation intact even if you were facing disciplinary action.
  • You avoid the risk, expense, stress and delay of going to Tribunal
  • They offer a clean break for everyone.

Your employer has the guarantee that you will not take them to an Employment Tribunal.

 

When are they offered?

The most common situation is to head off a potential claim against your employer. Perhaps you have raised a grievance or have left work and threatened Tribunal proceedings.

They are increasingly being used in redundancy situations to avoid lengthy and expensive consultation – especially where more than 20 jobs are at risk or when your employer offers to pay you  more than your basic Statutory Redundancy Pay. Signing a Settlement Agreement is often a condition of your application for voluntary redundancy being accepted.

Your employer may offer you a settlement as an alternative to facing a disciplinary hearing or investigation. An offer might be made when the allegations are first put to you, during or even at the end of the disciplinary process.

If your employer is unhappy with your standard of work, rather than go through a lengthy performance improvement plan or procedure, they may decide to offer you an alternative – to leave earlier in exchange for a settlement payment.

Should you be unable to work because of a long-term illness, your employer may prefer to avoid a long, drawn out capability procedure that might end in dismissal. It means they can plan ahead, and you can leave with dignity. We can advise you on ill-health retirement as part of the package.

Sometimes the working relationship just isn’t working – no matter how much everyone wants it to succeed. There might not be anyone to blame, but both sides may prefer amicable parting on good terms.

You can take the initiative – a proposal doesn’t have to come from your employer – but when and how to ask for a negotiated exit takes experience and skill. We can explain your options and negotiate the best deal possible.

 

I have been made an offer. Should I accept?

It depends on the offer – how much it is, what strings are attached, the strength of any claim you have and what you might win if you take your complaint to an Employment Tribunal. We’ll assess your case and give you easy to understand advice on what your options are and whether the offer should be improved upon.

It isn’t always about how much money is being offered. It is a big part of the deal, but there is much more to the settlement. We will always check your contract, discuss what you want out of the Agreement and build it into our advice as part of the service. This might include:

  • Agreeing a reasonable reference to help you get a job. We can help write a better one and negotiate for it to be included.
  • Making sure all the payments, monies and benefits you are entitled to are covered – your salary, accrued holidays, bonuses, commission payments, shares, SAYE, private health cover, company car or car allowance. This is important because usually an Agreement will be in ‘full and final settlement’, meaning any payments or benefits not covered will be lost.
  • How do you want your departure announced (if at all)? We can negotiate on internal or external announcements to colleagues and customers. If there is no announcement, what will your customers assume is the reason for you leaving?
  • What about tax? There may be scope to change the clauses dealing with which payments are tax free.
  • If your employment contract includes post-termination restrictions which make it difficult for you secure new work, we can try to get them shortened or even waived.

Only you can decide whether to accept the offer or not, but with our expert advice, you will know exactly where you stand and what to do.

If you want us to negotiate on your behalf, we will do that too – and it won’t cost you anything more.

 

I’m happy with the offer and need a solicitor to sign it off. What next?

Just get in contact. Phone us anytime, for free on 08000 614 631 or use the online form here. We will check the Agreement and make absolutely sure you are getting everything you are entitled to. It can all be done by telephone, email, skype or face to face at a time that is convenient to you.

If signing the Agreement is urgent, we’ll make sure it is a priority for us too.

 

I’m not happy with the offer. Can you help?

We’ll advise you on the terms and how reasonable the offer is and do our best to get you a better deal. The stronger your claim, the more likely it is that your employer will negotiate and increase their offer.

Only you can decide whether to accept the offer or not, but with our expert advice you will know exactly where you stand and what to do. If you want us to negotiate on your behalf, we will do that too.

 

Who pays for the work you do for me?

You shouldn’t have to pay a penny. It is normal for your employer to make a contribution towards the cost. The amount can vary but we don’t think you should ever have to pay anything, so we always guarantee to limit our costs to your employer’s contribution.

Even if it takes more of our time to get you the best deal than your employer is willing to pay for, we will never ask you to make up the difference.   We will invoice your employer after the Settlement Agreement is concluded.

FREE first advice

Have you ever wanted to just ask an expert employment law solicitor if they can help you, without worrying about what it may cost to contact them?

Get in touch

We’d like to talk to you to see what we can do to help, so please either call us anytime for free on 08000 614 631, email us or use the online form.

Together we can work out what your next steps might be...in confidence, at no cost and with no obligation.