A Settlement Agreement (formerly known as a Compromise Agreement) is a document used to settle employment disputes. They are commonly used by employers when offering settlement terms to employees who are about to be or who have been dismissed.
Because a Settlement Agreement is effective to prevent the employee from bringing a claim in the Employment Tribunal, the law provides for a number of safeguards – the most important of which is that the employee receives independent advice from a suitably qualified person, such as a solicitor, before he or she signs it. At Kidd Rapinet we have a number of Employment Law specialists who can provide this advice. Click on the Contacts tab on this page to see them and contact one local to you.
It is considered good practice (though not a legal requirement) for the employer to make a contribution to the employee’s legal costs in obtaining the independent advice. The Settlement Agreement will usually provide for this and state a cap on the amount the employer will contribute. Assuming the cap is within the usual range, we aim to provide our advice to the employee within this budget, so that your legal fees will be met in full by the employer. This does of course depend on how much work will be involved.
Most Settlement Agreements offer a reasonable amount of compensation which the employee is prepared (if reluctantly) to accept after taking our advice. But sometimes the terms are not acceptable, and in those cases we are quite prepared to negotiate on our client’s behalf for better terms if so required.
The best way to provide proper independent legal advice of this nature is in a meeting, when the issues can be fully discussed, and we can ensure that our client understands what he or she is agreeing to. If you come to a meeting with us please bring the Settlement Agreement you have been offered, a copy of your contract of employment and original evidence of identity documents (passport or photo driving licence and utility bill).
Just click on the Contacts tab on this page to find the phone no. or email of one of our Employment specialists or use the Contact Us form on this website in order to arrange a meeting at your early convenience.