Employment law update – March 2019
employment | 14.03.2019
Have you been given a settlement agreement to sign? You need to be sure you’re receiving the best deal possible.
Settlement agreements can be used if you are leaving a business, to end an employment relationship on agreed terms, or to resolve a dispute in an ongoing employment relationship. A settlement agreement will usually offer you a lump sum payment and in return, you sign away your rights to ever bring a claim against your employer.
The complex nature of settlement agreements makes it essential to instruct someone who will take you through the entire agreement, so you fully understand each clause and are satisfied you are receiving the best deal possible.
As an employee, if you are in dispute with your employer, you have a right to pursue the matter in the court of tribunal. The exception to this is when you and your employer have entered into a formal settlement agreement that fulfils strict statutory requirements.
Once a valid settlement agreement has been signed by both parties, you will have waived your right to go to an employment tribunal about any type of claim listed in the agreement. Your employer may ask you to enter into a settlement agreement because they are concerned you may have a claim against their business or because they do this as routine when an employee leaves their organisation.
The fees for a settlement agreement depend on how complicated it is and how much negotiation is required for all parties agreeing to the terms. We will, however, agree rates with you up front so there are no surprises.
As it is a statutory requirement that independent legal advice is received employers will frequently agree to a contribution to your legal costs at a fixed rate. If this has not been discussed it may be worth raising this matter with your employer.
As you are renouncing your rights to ever bring a claim against your employer, you need to be absolutely certain you are satisfied with the terms of the agreement before you sign it. The agreement will have to cover many areas and so will inevitably be complicated, which means it’s vital you have expert legal advice from someone who can negotiate on your behalf.
Our specialist employment solicitors at Moore Blatch have a vast range of experience in advising on and negotiating the terms of settlement agreements. Rather than you merely signing off on a settlement agreement, we will examine it closely first and tell you whether the deal being proposed is good for you or you should negotiate for a better package.
Our expertise and experience range from simple, straightforward agreements to complex, contentious ones, meaning that we can advise you in relation to your specific set of circumstances, so you walk away with the best possible agreement.
employment | 14.03.2019
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