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A Settlement Agreement is a written document used to record the terms by which your employment position changes or comes to an end.
They can be proposed for a number of reasons, for example, from redundancy situations or following a disagreement between you and your employer, where perhaps your employer suggests that you are not performing at an acceptable level. Sometimes, they can arise from amicable discussions but often they come completely out of the blue.
They are powerful documents which, once signed, limit your rights in employment law; usually in return for a financial settlement or other benefits.
The law protects you from signing away these legal rights before you properly understand them, by requiring you to take independent legal advice in order for the agreement to be binding.
Until the end of July 2013, these agreements were known as “Compromise Agreements” and you may still find yours referred to in this way.
The financial settlement offered must be right for your circumstances. If the terms appear unfavourable, we will negotiate with your employer and fight for a better deal. The important thing is that you get early, clear advice.
Our support goes beyond simply advising you on the legal effect of the agreement. We will also review with you whether the financial settlement being offered is fair and reasonable, or whether you should seek an increased payment, of which we have negotiated hundreds over the years. In many cases, your employer will not make its best offer straight away, or it may not be a fair reflection of the potential claims that you have against them so we will advise you on the best strategy to negotiate an increased settlement and assist you with those further negotiations.
Equally, if the offer is fair and reasonable, we will advise this and seek to deal with the matter efficiently to minimise your legal costs.
If the offer is still not acceptable, we can support you with bringing a claim to an employment tribunal.
What does it cost?
If the agreement is straightforward, and the financial terms are agreed, we will normally limit our fees to your employer’s proposed contribution to your legal expenses, typically £350-500 plus VAT depending on the circumstances. If detailed negotiations are required, we will advise you on our likely fees and seek to negotiate an increased contribution to your legal costs.
On occasion, we may advise you that the circumstances of your settlement in fact point towards a more serious issue. Our team of employment law specialists can advise you as to other potential claims you may have and how these may be progressed; to include an estimation of costs, time and potential compensation.
Get in touch with our expert team today by clicking here.
Harding Evans is a trading name of Harding Evans LLP, a limited liability partnership, registered in England & Wales (registered number: OC311802), authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA number: 419663).