What is a settlement agreement?
This is a legal document used to record the financial and practical terms of a deal agreed between you and your employer. It includes a commitment that neither side will bring a future claim against the other and can be entered into at any time, but is most common in cases where your employment has, or shortly will be, terminated.
What is the process?
In order to be valid, certain conditions must be in place:
- The agreement must be in writing and state that it meets all of the required conditions (it is usually drafted by your employer and sent to you for approval)
- It must relate to a specific complaint or situation, it cannot be general
- The employee must have received independent legal advice from an insured adviser, who is identified in the agreement
Why do I need to see or speak to a lawyer?
Your lawyer can explain the details of the agreement to make sure you understand exactly what it means for you both now and in the future. They act as your independent advisor to make sure that the settlement is right for your situation.
I am happy with my agreement. Do I still have to see an independent advisor?
Yes, this is a legal requirement. Even if you are happy, an advisor still needs to talk through the terms and conditions before you sign it, otherwise it is invalid.
I am unhappy with my agreement. Can you help me get a better deal?
Yes we can. Whilst you are not obliged to do this, it is sensible to seek independent advice to make sure the agreement is in your best interests, or if further discussions are needed to try and secure a better deal.
Who pays for the services of the independent advisor?
Usually the employer will pay a contribution and the amount will be set out in the settlement document. Sometimes costs may increase if you need additional support, advice or someone to negotiate with your employer on your behalf.
If you are considering a settlement agreement, contact our friendly team to see how we can help. These situations are daunting, but we have the skills and experience to make sure you are treated fairly and that the process is as least stressful as possible.