The employment solicitors at Wilford Smith provide specialist help & advice on settlement agreements for employers of all sizes. From simple, pre-agreed settlements to those incorporating complex arrangements such as structured payments and share options, our employment lawyers can deliver clear, pragmatic advice to help you achieve a settlement as efficiently as possible.
Settlement Agreements Solicitors
A settlement agreement is a legally binding contract between you and your employee, which brings a workplace dispute to an end. In many cases, you will be provided with a severance payment in return for your employee's agreement not to pursue any claims against you in a Tribunal or a Court.
In some cases, settlement agreements are also used when an employee has been offered an enhanced redundancy package. This is a package that goes beyond the redundancy package they would usually be entitled to.
What steps must be taken to ensure that a settlement agreement is legally binding?
For a legally binding settlement agreement, your employee must receive independent legal advice. Their solicitor must have made them aware of any claims they may have, the value of these claims and have informed them about the legal issues at stake. The employee can only waive their rights to bring an employment claim if they have their own solicitor or a certified trade union or adviser to sign off the settlement agreement. Additionally, a binding settlement agreement requires that:
- The settlement agreement is in writing
- The employee has signed the agreement
- The agreement relates to at least one specific complaint or proceeding
- The employee’s legal advisor is identified and insured
- It states in the agreement that the requirements regulating the settlement are satisfied
What are the benefits of reaching a settlement agreement?
Reaching a settlement agreement offers you the certainty that a claim by your employee has been resolved and that they will not seek further compensation in the future. This allows you to move on from the dispute and focus on running your business without additional distractions.
My employee has asked for a settlement agreement. What should I do?
In some situations, an employee might suggest using a settlement agreement for a clean break. This might happen when the relationship of trust and confidence has broken down. An example of this would be where their grievance has not been upheld, or you have recently disciplined an employee, and they are not happy with the penalty. You do not have to accept, but you will need to consider whether it would be beneficial for you and your business.
Contact our Settlement Agreement Solicitors
At Wilford Smith, we pride ourselves on our reputation for delivering reliable, commercially-focused advice to employers to help you reach a settlement with your employee in the most cost-effective manner. Throughout negotiations, you will be given strategic and robust representation to help protect your position and that of your business. Speak to one of our employment solicitors today to find out how we can help.
To arrange an appointment, call our team of employment lawyers today on 01709 828 044 or complete our enquiry form.