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Gorvins’ employment solicitors are experts in negotiating and advising on settlement agreements.

No matter what level of seniority your role is, it’s important to get advice when you are offered a settlement agreement. If you have received a settlement agreement or are due to receive a settlement agreement then it is vital that you seek legal advice. The settlement agreement will need to be signed by an independent legal expert or settlement agreement solicitors.

What is a settlement agreement?

A settlement agreement is a legally binding contract that prevents an employee from suing their employer, usually in return for a sum of money. This is often used as a way to arrive at an agreement that the employee will not bring claims against their employer related to employment law.

Employers usually insist on certain formalities when reaching a settlement. This usually means the employee will have to seek independent legal advice from a settlement agreement solicitors to ensure they understand the terms. A properly drafted and negotiated settlement agreement can be a very effective way to ensure that you are adequately compensated for the termination of your employment, without the need to bring a formal claim against your employer.

Is this the same as a compromise agreement?

In July 2013, the government changed the name of compromise agreements to settlement agreements. While the two kinds of agreement are similar, compromise agreements could only be offered in the instance where there was an ongoing dispute. In contrast, settlement agreements can be used in any situation. You might also see settlement agreements referred to as severance agreements. This is because employers are starting to use settlement agreements in place of redundancy packages. If this is the case for you, a compromise agreement solicitor will be able to advise you if the agreement is fair.

What should I do if I receive a settlement agreement?

If you are offered a settlement agreement, you should get expert legal advice as soon as possible. Settlement agreements must be drafted in the correct legal terms. For it to be legally binding, you must have it fully explained to you by a qualified employment law solicitor. If you sign the agreement without seeking legal advice, you will no longer have any right to make a claim against your employer. A settlement agreement solicitor will be able to explain the terms of the agreement and any clauses that you will need to abide by. For example, if your employer has placed restrictive covenants in the agreement, these might have an impact on your future job prospects. For this reason, it’s important that have the agreement looked at by a settlement agreement solicitor.

Do I have to sign the settlement agreement?

Many organisations now use settlement agreements or compromise agreements instead of formal redundancy packages. If you aren’t aware of the redundancy process or your redundancy rights, you could end up signing something that isn’t in your best interest. It’s important for individuals facing settlement agreements to appreciate that they cannot be forced to agree to an employer’s settlement terms. The two parties have to come to an agreement, hence the name settlement agreement.

What are my redundancy rights?

If your employer is using a settlement agreement or compromise agreement in place of a redundancy package, it’s important for you to understand what your rights are and how the redundancy process works. Redundancy only happens when your job disappears and is not the same as being dismissed for other reasons. You have a right to a minimum notice period and statutory redundancy pay based on how long you have been with the company and your age at the time you will be made redundant. Click here to find out more about the redundancy process.

How can Gorvins help with your settlement agreement?

Due to the sensitive nature of a settlement agreement, they are often written in formal legal language, which may be difficult for you to understand. Everything will be explained to you in plain English, ensuring that you are totally happy with the terms that have been set out.

Gorvins’ specialist Employment Solicitors will give unbiased advice to negotiate the best compensation package for you. Many employers will cover the costs of their employees seeking legal advice. If you waive your claim against them, they will save a lot of money in terms of legal costs, so they will often cover our fees so you won’t have to pay us anything. We can negotiate this on your behalf.

Contact our settlement agreement solicitors team today

For a consultation and expert legal advice about a settlement agreement or compromise agreement contact one of our employment law solicitors on 0343 507 5151, e-mail employmentteam@gorvins.com or fill in our online form and we will call you back.

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