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Our employment department regularly acts on behalf of employees who have been offered a Settlement Agreement by their employer and we act for many employers who need such an Agreement drafting for them, often at very short notice. Until recently these documents were known as Compromise Agreements but on 29th July 2013, their name was changed to Settlement Agreements.
In order for a Settlement Agreement to be valid, the employee must receive independent legal advice upon its terms and invariably the Agreement will have an Advisers certificate attached to it which the legal adviser has to sign. Because the employee has to receive independent legal advice upon the document, the employer will invariably make a contribution towards your legal costs in doing so and this contribution will vary according to the complexity of the Agreement.
A Settlement Agreement, once signed by all parties, is a legally binding contract in which the employee agrees to terminate their employment and agrees to waive virtually all claims that they have, or may have, against their employer. In return, in many cases, the employee will receive a termination payment.
We find that many employees may have had no previous experience or knowledge of a Settlement Agreement and may be somewhat suspicious as to their employer’s motives.
Hibberts employment department will provide thorough advice to you, spending the time to take comprehensive instructions from you about how you came to be offered the Agreement and most importantly about the claims that we advise that you have or may have against your employer. It is vital that once we have advised you, you walk away fully understanding the terms of the Agreement and its implications for you in the future. You can see answers to many common settlement agreement questions here.
Settlement agreements have obvious advantages for employers, such as securing the termination of the employment of the employee whilst also protecting the employer against future claims being brought against it. However they also offer advantages to an employee – as well as the financial incentive that is usually on offer for the employee to enter into a Settlement Agreement, they can also include other things which, quite simply, you could not obtain via an Employment Tribunal claim, such as an agreed form reference.
Give us a call using the details above or fill in the enquiry form below, and we will get back to you.