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What is a Settlement Agreement?
In simple terms, a Settlement Agreement (previously known as a Compromise Agreement) is a legally binding written agreement between an employer and an employee. Employees are usually invited to sign a settlement agreement following a dispute with their employer which results in them leaving their employment.
More about Settlement Agreements
A nationwide service
We deal with settlement agreements on a daily basis across the whole of England, Scotland and Wales. Settlement agreements in Northern Ireland are covered by a slightly different set of rules, which are best dealt with by a law firm based in that area.
An independent service
Our service is fast, efficient and above all, truly independent. And, in the vast majority of cases, it is free to employees, because the employer normally pays our fees .
Settlement agreements are offered for a variety of reasons. An underlying dispute, a breakdown in trust and confidence, a grievance, the employee may be medically unfit to work or may not want to return at the end of maternity leave.
In each case, we will advise on your options. We will either assist you with the completion of the settlement agreement or, if we feel you would be better off taking your employer to an employment tribunal, we will let you know if we can do it on a no win – no fee basis.
Agreements are legally binding
Settlement agreements are usually fairly standardised documents and must comply with the requirements of the legislation that governs them. They must include certain clauses which make them binding. When you sign the agreement you will waive your right to make a claim. It is therefore vital you receive advice from a specialist solicitor.
Advice on termination payment
We will also advise you on whether the termination payment being offered is the correct amount. There is no standard figure and each case will be different (unless the settlement agreement is produced following negotiations by your union or as a result of an earlier agreement). We will examine what is being offered and advise you of your options. It’s all part of the service.
We will also advise on the tax implications of the agreement and the effect of any restrictions placed upon you, such as your freedom to work for a competitor or any demand that the terms or even the existence of the agreement itself to be kept secret.
Don’t feel pressured
We are aware that many employers pressurise employees into signing the settlement agreement quickly. While we think this is generally unnecessary and unreasonable, we know that people like things to be done quickly. Our systems mean that we are able to respond swiftly to ensure you meet any deadline that is imposed.
Using a specialist solicitor
Finally, please remember we are specialist solicitors. There are many people offering advice on settlement agreements who are not actually solicitors; some of them don’t even have any legal qualifications! By choosing us you are assured that your case will be dealt with by a specialist employment solicitor with years of experience. Don’t settle for second best – after all, the employer normally pays the legal costs so make sure you pick the best. Call Slee Blackwell today.