A settlement agreement is a contract between an employer and employee used to resolve a dispute or mutually end an employment contract. The agreement is voluntary between both parties but it is also legally binding, so it’s really important that you get specialist legal advice before signing a settlement agreement to make sure you are in the best position possible.
We have a team of specialist Employment Law Solicitors who can immediately talk you through the terms and conditions of a settlement agreement, and if necessary, negotiate the terms and wording with your employer to make sure you’re getting the best outcome. In these circumstances, speed can be important and having someone on your side who can get the best possible outcome for you.
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When is a Settlement Agreement used?
Usually on the termination of an employment contract. It offers you a clean break with your employer with agreed terms between both parties and financial compensation. Sometimes if you’ve got a complaint against your employer, for example a discrimination claim, they may try to resolve it through a settlement agreement to prevent you taking your claim to an Employment Tribunal.
Usually, the settlement agreement will include a lump sum payment in return for you sticking to the agreement and not taking your claim further.
A settlement agreement can also be used to bring an employment relationship to an end, for example, as an alternative to redundancy or because of a business restructure.
To be legally binding, it is a requirement that you get independent legal advice before signing a settlement agreement, and your employer will usually pay for this.
Why use an Employment Law Solicitor?
Our Employment Law Solicitors are specialists who can help you get the best possible settlement agreement. We’ll speak to you in plain English to make sure that you understand the contents of the contract and get a fair outcome.
We can help you with:
- Getting a financial deal that you’re happy with
- Advice about the wording in a settlement agreement
- Negotiating the wording of the terms of an employee reference
- Negotiating a new settlement agreement
- Making a claim against your employer, if necessary
As a settlement agreement is legally binding once it has been signed, it’s really important that you get the agreement right first time, as it cannot be amended after. Our Employment Law Solicitors can look at the agreement in depth and advise you on whether we think it’s a fair settlement, or if we think we can negotiate on your behalf.
What is the Process?
- If your employer has already offered a settlement agreement, contact us and we can review this straight away and see if it’s fair or if there are any issues that need reviewing.
- Once we’ve given you our thoughts, we’ll ask how you want to proceed. You might want to resolve the matter quickly and amicably or you might want to negotiate for a better settlement. We can help you whatever you decide.
- If you want to negotiate, we’ll go to your employer and ask them to amend the terms of the agreement, which might include a better financial compensation offer. If your employer isn’t willing to negotiate, then we can help you raise a grievance or take your claim to an Employment Tribunal, if necessary.
- Once a suitable settlement agreement is drawn up and you’re happy with the terms, we’ll advise you on the meaning of the terms, before adding the requisite legal certificate and arranging for it to be signed correctly by all parties.
How will my Case be funded?
As the ‘Open Lawyers’, we’ll always be transparent about our legal fees. Our Employment Law Solicitors and Lawyers all have different hourly rates depending on their level of experience, but we’ll discuss funding options with you at the start.
For settlement agreements, your employer will usually contribute towards your legal fees, which may cover the full cost of our work. For more complicated situations, involving more extensive negotiations on our part, we may need a higher contribution from your employer, but we’ll discuss any additional fees with you up front.
Get in touch with our Employment Solicitors today for a free assessment of your case.
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Simpson Millar Solicitors are a national law firm with over 500 staff and offices in Billingham, Bristol, Cardiff, Catterick, Lancaster, Leeds, Liverpool, London and Manchester.