Relationships with your employer can become difficult for many reasons. As a result, you may be offered a settlement agreement. A settlement agreement is a document that agrees that you won’t make a claim against your employer for any type of employment law claim, such as unfair dismissal for example.
The settlement agreement will be accompanied by a payment to you from your employer but it is a legal requirement for a solicitor or other authorised person to review the agreement before you sign it. It’s really important that you understand the implications of signing the settlement agreement as you are signing away your rights to make a claim.
For a free initial discussion about your settlement agreement with one of our employment solicitors, call now on 0117 926 4121 or make a free enquiry online.
What is a Settlement Agreement?
A settlement agreement, formally known as a compromise agreement, is a document that allows you and your employer to settle a claim outside of an employment tribunal. It will usually terminate your employment and is generally between an employer and employee.
For a settlement agreement to be legally binding it must:
- Be in writing
- Be specific about the type of claim that could be raised
- Ensure that the person signing the agreement has had independent legal advice
Putting a settlement agreement in place can allow both you and your employer the certainty that that your employment is ended without the need to go to an employment tribunal.
Why Do I need Legal Advice?
It’s necessary to obtain legal advice about a settlement agreement before you sign for it to be legally binding. Your employer has to show that you clearly understand that you are signing away your right to make an employment tribunal claim against them. Therefore, your employer will allocate you either your whole legal fee, or a proportion of it, to get independent legal advice before signing the agreement.
This advice will help you to understand what your claim would potentially be worth if you took it to an employment tribunal, along with the risks in taking this action.
The payment you will receive from your employer should reflect the amount they would pay if your potential claim went to an Employment Tribunal. An Employment Solicitor will review your circumstances and give you advice about whether you should try to negotiate an improved settlement or if, in their opinion, it’s a fair offer.
Using a solicitor can help you to negotiate a better financial settlement. Your employer is likely to take you more seriously if you have instructed one to represent you in negotiations.
Additionally, your Employment Law Solicitor will use all their knowledge and expertise to try to negotiate an improved settlement from your employer. They can effectively demonstrate employment tribunal settlement figures for cases similar to yours to show your employer that their offer is not adequate. This should result in an increased offer.
Even if you are offered a settlement agreement, you don’t have to accept it. You are agreeing to give up your right to make a claim, which may not be in your best interests. Your solicitor will help you make that decision.
How Much Will It Cost?
Your employer will advise you how much they will allocate to you for independent legal advice on your settlement agreement. You may need to top up this amount, particularly if you want your Employment Solicitor to renegotiate the terms of your settlement agreement.
At Meade King, we know how important it is for you to be clear about how much you will have to pay in legal fees so we offer a fixed fee for all settlement agreement work.
Call now on 0117 926 4121 and speak to one of our employment law specialists about your settlement agreement or make a free enquiry online.