Has your employer asked you to sign a settlement agreement (also known as a compromise agreement)? This type of agreement can be used to resolve all types of employment disputes, from disagreements over pay to discrimination claims. Getting the right legal advice before signing is essential to ensure you are getting the best possible deal. Your employer may even agree to pay some or all of your legal fees.
Our London-based team of employment law solicitors acts for employees at all levels, from junior staff and job applicants to senior management, executives and directors. Wherever you are in your career, we are here to empower you and help you enforce your legal rights.
Your employer has serious legal responsibilities towards you as their employee. However, it is very common for employees to be wary about ‘rocking the boat’ when they are mistreated. This is your career as well as your livelihood, so it is sensible to take your future into account when handling problems with your current or former employer.
We understand the concerns and will take a bespoke approach to your situations, exploring all possible options so we can find the best resolution for you.
The great thing about a Settlement Agreement is, as well as formally settling the complaint with your employer, we can negotiate terms such as monetary compensation and a good reference for your next job. The catch is that upon signing, you will no longer be able to take your claims to court or the Employment Tribunal, so getting the advice of an employment law expert is essential.
Why choose Huggins Lewis Foskett for settlement agreement advice?
Our team of dedicated employment lawyers have decades of experience advising individuals across London and beyond.
We aim to demystify the complex world of employment law, helping employees understand their employment rights so they can feel empowered to enforce them. That is why we go the extra mile, getting to know our clients and setting out our advice in plain, understandable English so you can make the best decisions about how to move forwards.
We will be by your side throughout the entire process, from providing initial advice about settlement agreements to representing you during Employment Tribunal and court proceedings if settlement negotiations are unsuccessful.
We will always put your needs first. This is the case even if your employer agrees to pay your settlement agreement legal fees – we do not work for them, we work for you.
This means we will always provide advice that is in your best interests and we won’t encourage you to sign a settlement agreement unless you have decided (with our advice) that it is the best thing to do.
What is a settlement agreement?
A settlement agreement (sometimes referred to as a compromise agreement or termination agreement) is a legal contract between an employer and an employee. Settlement agreements can be used to resolve all types of employment dispute, including disputes over:
- Workplace bullying
- Allegations of gross misconduct or other grievances
Typically, the employer will agree to:
- Formally end the employee’s contract of employment
- Pay a sum of compensation
They may also agree to other terms, such as to give the employee a good reference when they apply for their next job.
Typically, the employee will agree to:
- Waive all their complaints and legal claims (give up the right to take their claims to court or an Employment Tribunal)
- Keep the nature of the dispute and the contents of the agreement confidential
The exact terms of the agreement can be worked out with the help of one of our employment lawyers to ensure you get the best possible deal.
Why enter into a settlement agreement?
The benefits for you include:
- Signing a settlement agreement means you can wrap up the dispute relatively quickly and avoid the stress of Employment Tribunal proceedings
- The employer will usually agree to pay compensation, saving you the hassle of pursuing compensation at a Tribunal
- Signing a settlement agreement keeps the situation more private
- If you are facing your employer’s disciplinary procedure, for example, for allegations of gross misconduct or performance issues, a settlement agreement can be a convenient way to sidestep that unpleasant process, leave your employment quietly and avoid a dismissal being added to your record
- Your employer may agree to pay some or all of your legal fees
The benefits for employers include:
- Settlement agreements tend to cause less disruption for the business – giving the employee compensation will usually be cheaper than going through the rigmarole of Employment Tribunal proceedings
- Settlement agreement discussions also tend to be private while court and Employment Tribunal proceedings are public
Because of the benefits to employers, they are often keen to enter into a settlement agreement to put an end to any potential claims. This often means that we are able to negotiate very favourable terms for our clients.
Are settlement agreements legally binding?
A settlement agreement is legally binding (meaning neither you nor the employer can go back on it without the risk of being sued) if it fulfils certain legal requirements. For example:
- It must be signed by all the parties
- It must have been entered into freely (i.e. your employer cannot try to coerce you into signing)
- You must have received independent legal advice from a qualified lawyer (this is why many employers are willing to pay for their employee’s solicitor’s fees
Can you ask your employer for a settlement agreement?
Yes, you don’t have to wait for your employer to offer you a settlement agreement if you think it is the best option for you. However, your employer does not have to agree to enter into a settlement agreement.
Our employment law fees
We understand that the costs of dealing with a legal dispute with your employer can be daunting. Fortunately, many employers are willing to cover some or all of their employee’s legal fees for entering into a settlement agreement. We can liaise with you and your employer in relation to the potential costs and work out a flexible budget.
Where you cover the cost of your own legal advice, we will make sure you are kept up to date at all times about the fees and any other costs, so that you can keep complete control over your expenditure.
For an indication of our fees, please take a look at our pricing page.
Our London employment lawyers
Speak to our employment law solicitors in South Woodford, London today
Do you need clear, practical legal advice about settlement agreements?