With extensive experience of advising both employees and employers in relation to settlement agreements, this is an area of particular expertise. When instructed by employers I focus on securing a clean exit with maximum protection of the Company’s business interests. When representing employees I ensure that all potential claims are considered before negotiating the best possible outcome. I will provide clear, concise advice about the terms of the agreement and the implications of it.
I regularly advise employers and employees regarding settlement agreements and related issues, including advice about any potential claims and negotiating the best possible outcome for my clients.
What is a settlement agreement?
Settlement agreements are legally binding contracts that are often used to terminate an employment contract on agreed terms. Their main feature is that they waive an individual’s right to make a claim to a court or employment tribunal on the matters that are specifically covered in the agreement. They usually make provision for a termination payment from the employer to the employee and commonly allow for an agreed reference.
For a settlement agreement to be binding, the employee or worker must receive independent legal advice from a qualified lawyer as to the terms and effect of the proposed agreement and, in particular, its effect on your right to bring claims in the employment tribunal or the courts.
The requirement to take advice from a solicitor or other qualified legal advisor is to ensure that you are protected and understand the effect of the agreement, particularly as you will be waiving the right to bring employment law claims and you may be required to give various warranties covering issues such as confidentiality, the return of property and similar issues.
Your employer will normally make a contribution to your fees for taking legal advice regarding a settlement agreement.
Settlement agreements require a detailed knowledge of the law to be fully understood. Taking advice from a suitably qualified employment solicitor will help to prevent less scrupulous employers from taking advantage of your situation and seeking to enforce a settlement that may be contrary to your best interests.
The settlement agreement will need to be certified by the solicitor to confirm that you have been advised of your rights and that professional indemnity insurance is in force. Without this the agreement would not be valid or binding.
For further information relating to settlement agreements or to arrange a free, no-obligation telephone discussion please get in touch.