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All our employment lawyers regularly advise employees on settlement agreements, advising you on the terms and effects of the agreement either by telephone or by face-to-face meeting.

Your employer should pay a contribution towards your settlement agreement legal fees in order for you to receive the relevant advice on the effect of the terms of the settlement agreement.

For an agreed additional fee, we are also able to review whether you have any claims arising out of your situation, can negotiate the sum on offer and can also amend the terms so that it better protects you as an employee, as opposed to the employer.

If you are in full agreeance with the terms of your settlement agreement and it has been correctly drafted, your employer’s contribution should be sufficient to cover the full cost. However, our legal fees for settlement agreement advice start at £500.00 plus VAT, so please check your settlement agreement to ensure that you are covered for at least this amount.

If we feel as though your settlement agreement should be negotiated further to provide a more reasonable financial package or where there are wider implications of your employment ending, we will negotiate with your employer on your behalf to create a settlement agreement that best protects your interests. Wherever possible, we seek any additional costs to be covered by your employer.

Where several of your colleagues have also been offered a settlement agreement, perhaps as part of a redundancy process or company restructure, we can meet with you and your colleagues at your work premises and arrange back-to-back meetings, which provides greater bargaining strength and makes correspondence much more efficient with your employer.

We have considerable experience in acting as independent legal advisors to employees in large-scale settlement agreement situations such as large-scale redundancy exercises, re-organisations, TUPE scenarios where contracts have been lost, as well as business mergers and sales.

If you are unable to reach an agreeable settlement agreement with your employer, we have significant experience in finding the most cost-effective solution to resolve issues swiftly, be it through representation in conciliating, mediating, or defending or enforcing your claims in the Employment Tribunal or Civil Courts.

What is a settlement agreement?

A settlement agreement, also known as a compromise agreement, is a legally binding document that outlines the terms of an agreement between an employer and an employee, usually in the context of ending employment or resolving a dispute.

Why might I be offered a settlement agreement?

Settlement agreements can be offered for various reasons, including redundancy, restructuring, disputes, or any situation where both parties agree to end the employment relationship under specific terms.

Do I have to accept a settlement agreement?

No, you are not obligated to accept a settlement agreement. It’s your choice whether to agree to the terms presented. You should carefully consider the terms and seek legal advice before making a decision.

Can I negotiate the terms of a settlement agreement?

Yes, you can negotiate the terms of a settlement agreement, including financial compensation, reference clauses, and any other relevant terms. It’s advisable to consult with an employment solicitor to ensure your interests are properly represented.

Will I receive compensation if I sign a settlement agreement?

Compensation is a common component of settlement agreements. The amount depends on various factors, such as your length of service, role, salary, and the circumstances leading to the agreement.

Will signing a settlement agreement affect my statutory rights?

Signing a settlement agreement waives your right to bring certain claims against your employer, but it shouldn’t affect your basic statutory employment rights, such as holiday pay, notice pay, and the right to be paid in line with your contract.

Can I discuss the settlement agreement with colleagues?

While it’s generally advisable to keep the details of your settlement agreement confidential, you may discuss the existence of the agreement and seek general advice. However, sharing specific terms might breach confidentiality clauses.

Can I get legal advice before signing a settlement agreement?

Yes, you have the right to obtain independent legal advice before signing a settlement agreement. Your employer usually covers the cost of obtaining legal advice.

How does taxation work on settlement agreement payments?

Payments up to £30,000 as compensation for loss of employment are usually tax-free. However, amounts exceeding this may be subject to income tax and National Insurance contributions.

Can I challenge a settlement agreement in court later?

If you sign a valid settlement agreement, you typically waive your right to bring certain claims against your employer. Challenging the agreement’s validity would depend on factors such as misrepresentation or undue pressure during the negotiation process.

Can I take time to consider the settlement agreement?

Yes, you should be given a reasonable amount of time to consider the agreement. The Advisory, Conciliation, and Arbitration Service (ACAS) suggests a minimum of 10 calendar days.

What happens if I decline the settlement agreement?

If you decline the settlement agreement, your employment will continue as usual. Your employer cannot use your refusal to sign against you, and you retain your legal rights and protections.

Can I bring a companion to settlement agreement discussions?

Yes, you have the right to bring a companion, such as a colleague or trade union representative, to settlement agreement discussions to provide support and assistance.

Can my employer force me to sign a settlement agreement?

No, your employer cannot force you to sign a settlement agreement. It is your decision whether to agree to the terms. Coercion or undue pressure could invalidate the agreement.

Will signing a settlement agreement impact my ability to secure future employment?

A properly drafted settlement agreement often includes a neutral reference, helping you secure future employment without any negative impact on your reputation.

Can I make a claim to an employment tribunal after signing a settlement agreement?

In most cases, signing a settlement agreement means you waive your right to bring certain claims to an employment tribunal related to the issues covered by the agreement.

What should I do if I feel the terms of the settlement agreement are unfair?

If you believe the terms are unfair or unequal, consult with an employment solicitor. They can review the agreement and advise you on whether negotiation or adjustments are possible.

How long does it take to finalise a settlement agreement?

The timeline for finalising a settlement agreement varies based on negotiation complexity and the responsiveness of all parties involved. It typically takes a few weeks to a couple of months.

Can a settlement agreement include a confidentiality clause?

Yes, settlement agreements commonly include confidentiality clauses preventing you from discussing the terms or circumstances surrounding the agreement.

Can I challenge a settlement agreement after signing it?

It’s generally challenging to challenge a settlement agreement once signed unless there’s evidence of significant legal flaws, misrepresentation, or other irregularities.

What if I have concerns about redundancy and my settlement agreement?

If redundancy is involved, your settlement agreement should detail the redundancy package and any entitlements you have, ensuring you’re fairly compensated.

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