FOR MOST OF US, JOB SECURITY AND A RELIABLE INCOME ARE AMONG THE MOST IMPORTANT THINGS IN LIFE.
In times of conflict or potential conflict between an employer and an employee, there comes a time when a formal agreement needs to be reached by both parties on how any dispute should be resolved.
A settlement agreement is a legally binding document that ends a dispute or between an employer and employee or brings an employment to a clear conclusion.
You may be an employee facing redundancy which you feel is unfair or an employer who needs to restructure and wants to ensure you’re protected against a claim.
Whichever side you’re on, Carlsons Solicitors are experts in employment law, having supported thousands of employers with agreements from simple pre-agreed standard settlements to high value structured deals.
With a friendly, cost-effective service and peerless client care, we’re well-placed to offer you the very best advice to resolve any potential or existing dispute.
WHAT IS A SETTLEMENT AGREEMENT?
Settlement agreements were previously known as Compromise Agreements - since an employer might sometimes offer a “compromise” or “settlement” when terminating an individual’s employment.
As an employer, such agreements end the right of an employee to make an employment claim against you, such as unfair dismissal or discrimination arising out of their employment term or termination. This type of agreement will ensure that when your employee leaves your business, the business is protected from any legal claims associated with their employment rights.
If you’re an employee, when you sign a settlement agreement you will no longer be able to make an employment tribunal claim or sue your employer over an employment right once you’ve received a sum of money in return for agreeing not to bring a claim.
SETTLEMENT AGREEMENTS FOR EMPLOYERS.
We’ve been settlement agreement solicitors in Whetstone for many years and spend a considerable amount of time advising both employers and employees. We specialise in writing watertight legal agreements that protect you against a future claim.
Whether it is a one-off compromise or a bulk redundancy, we can help you draft a unique or standard fit settlement agreement.
- You (the employer) draft the settlement agreement and provide this to your employee.
- The agreement will usually offer your employee a compensation payment which is over and above normal contractual terms or agree to provide an employment reference to a potential new employer.
- Your employee will be required to seek independent legal advice before they sign the agreement as without independent legal advice the agreement is invalid.
- By entering into the agreement your employee agrees that they will not bring an employment claim for discrimination or unfair dismissal against you.
- Settlement agreements are commonly used in redundancy, rationalisation programmes and when seeking to resolve a dispute with an employee.
PROVIDING SETTLEMENT AGREEMENT EXPERTISE FOR EMPLOYEES.
Settlement agreements make it compulsory an employee to receive independent legal advice on the terms and effect of the agreement. It’s therefore very common for the employer to make a contribution towards the legal costs that you will incur when you seek legal advice.
We provide efficient, cost effective employment law advice with a high standard of client care.
We can help you by:
- Advising on settlement agreements
- Offering employment advice
SETTLEMENT AGREEMENT BENEFITS.
A negotiated settlement agreement could be a good way for you to end your employment relationship. They can often work in your favour and secure you a good deal under the circumstances. For example, you may be offered a lump sum of money to waive your employment rights.
HOW CAN WE HELP YOU?
Our specialist settlement agreement solicitors in Whetstone can negotiate on your behalf, aiming to secure a fair and reasonable deal that is in your best interest. We can help:
- Explain the meaning and effect of the agreement and advise you of any changes or amendments that need to be made.
- Advise you on any claims that may arise on the termination of employment and what they might be worth or whether the sum offered is reasonable.
- Reach a deal that is structured in a fair, reasonable and tax efficient manner.
- Negotiate specific payment terms for the compensation offered to you under the agreement.
- Ensure that your accrued pension rights are unaffected by the agreement.
- Maintain your right to make a personal injury claim against the employer in the future.
We’ll discuss all the options available to you and can do much of our work remotely without needing to meet face to face.
WHY YOU NEED A SOLICITOR.
Under the terms of a settlement agreement, you must seek specialist independent legal advice on the terms and effect of the agreement. Without an independent opinion, the agreement becomes invalid.
Our specialist settlement agreement solicitors will offer expert independent advice on the best way to protect yourself from an unscrupulous employer who may be trying to remove your employment rights from you.
We will ensure that your rights are protected and that you fully understand and appreciate them before you sign them away. Your rights include:
- Contractual rights, as set out in your employment contract and which refer to your job title, holiday entitlement, salary, benefits and notice period.
- Common law rights derived from the general law in respect of how you are treated by your employer and covers injury, negligence and defamation.
- Statutory rights, derived from the UK statute, which refer to unfair dismissal, discrimination, maternity / paternity rights, minimum wage, statutory redundancy payment and unauthorised deductions from wages.
The cost of advice under a settlement agreement will, in the majority of cases, be covered by your employer. This means that you personally may not have to pay anything for this advice.