Settlement Agreement Solicitors
If your employment is being terminated for whatever reason, your employer may suggest that you enter into a settlement agreement. Settlement agreements - otherwise known as compromise agreements - can be intimidating, particularly when you’ve never had to deal with a settlement agreement before.
We can help you in reviewing and negotiating a settlement agreement to ensure that your severance package is fair, reasonable and protects your best interests. If you’ve received a settlement agreement, you will need to seek legal advice as soon as possible.
The decision to bring an end to an employment contract can stem from any number of issues, the most common of which include redundancy, performance issues, capability, general restructuring of the company and a downturn in the volume of work coming in.
The decision can also stem from disputes regarding business strategy or investment decisions, or even the dismissal decision itself. This may make you feel that your position is untenable or that your employer wants you to resign and is effectively trying to push you out of the organisation.
If this is the case, it’s important that you understand your options and speak to a redundancy solicitor.
What is a settlement agreement?
Settlement agreements, formerly known as compromise agreements, are often the best way to provide certainty for both parties upon termination. They are legally binding contracts that set out the terms on which the employment relationship has ended and the rights and responsibilities of both parties post-termination. Within the agreement, the employee will usually waive any rights to bring a claim against their employer, and in return the employee may receive a severance package.
The amount of compensation you may receive depends entirely on the agreement, however, your solicitor will work with you to secure a package that is fair and reflects your contributions.
Understanding your settlement agreement
We will discuss the background to your case with you to determine the value of any potential claims you may have against your employer and your options as to pursuing them. We will then go through the legality of the settlement agreement with you clause by clause to ensure that you fully understand what you are signing. We will explain in detail what options are open to you and advise as to whether the settlement is right for you. If necessary, we will negotiate the terms of the settlement agreement on your behalf to get the best severance package and terms possible.
How much does a settlement agreement cost?
In most cases, the employer will pay a contribution for you to seek out legal advice. In cases where your employer has given you a settlement agreement, it is often the case that you will have a clause that stipulates your employer will make a contribution to your legal fees. This contribution usually covers your costs in full, meaning there will be no costs incurred by you.
If you are not happy with the offer made by your employer to terminate your employment and you want us to negotiate on your behalf, this will not be covered by the contribution and will need to pay a solicitor to undertake this further work.
How long does a settlement agreement take?
There is often a requirement for a settlement agreement to be dealt with quickly, which is usually because of the nature of the events leading to the agreement being put to you.
It is the case that a settlement agreement can be turned around between 1-2 days, however it is good practice and ACAS provide guidance for an employer to allow a minimum 10 calendar days to seek legal advice on the legality of the agreement.
The employment settlement agreement is at the employer’s discretion, and we would suggest that the sooner you approach us to review the agreement, the sooner we can evaluate your case and advise you on your rights.
How long the payment will then take to come through once all parties are in agreement will be stipulated in the settlement agreement, though this often lines up with the employer’s payroll.
Do you need a solicitor for settlement agreements?
It is a legal requirement that you must seek out independent legal advice before signing a settlement agreement. This is because settlement agreements include complex and often restrictive terms and conditions which need to be fully understood.
It is further a legal requirement that the Solicitor signs the adviser's certificate to confirm that the advice has been provided to you.
Contact Jackson Lees’ Employment Solicitors and find out what is a reasonable settlement agreement.
Our expert employment law team understand that this is likely the first time you have ever had to deal with a settlement agreement, and it can all be quite intimidating.
We deal with settlement agreements every day and can help reassure you and protect your position as you prepare to move forward with new endeavours.
Our fee for a standard settlement agreement will be agreed with your employer as typically they will cover this cost. This allows for us to review and advise on the settlement agreement with no cost to you.
For any advice outside of this, you will be charged at a hourly rate, which we will discuss with you at the outset of your case.