If your employer has suggested terms for your leaving the business or simply to try and resolve a dispute you have been having you may be offered a Settlement Agreement (sometimes known as a Compromise Agreement).
A Settlement Agreement is a legally binding contract in which you waive most of your rights to bring a claim against the business usually in return for an enhanced cash payment. A Settlement Agreement allows a ‘clean break’ both for you and for the business and does not necessarily mean that your employer has done anything wrong. A Settlement Agreement allows both you and your employer certainty that matters have been brought to an end and that there will not be the risk of future claims and legal costs.
As you are giving up most of your rights to bring a claim against your employer and as those rights could be very valuable (up to 12 months' pay for most employees claiming unfair dismissal and uncapped for other types of claim) it is a requirement that you seek independent legal advice before signing the Settlement Agreement. The independent advisor will also sign the Settlement Agreement and as a result your employer will normally pay a contribution to your legal fees that will cover most if not all of the cost to you.
Our team of expert employment solicitors all have extensive experience on advising as to the terms and effect of Settlement Agreements as well as the commerciality of the offer that has been made. We are happy to meet at a time that suits you either during the working day or even at weekends during our Saturday surgeries.
Take a look at our Settlement Agreement FAQs
page to view a selection of questions we have received. For further information on Settlement Agreements and to find out how we can help you, please contact our Employment Law Team on 01279 755777 or get in touch with Darren Hayward, Head of our Employment Team.