If you are facing a problem at work, your employer might ask you to sign a Settlement Agreement (previously referred to as a compromise agreement) to resolve the matter.
Typically, a Settlement Agreement will formally end your employment contract on agreed terms – in essence, your employer might agree to pay you compensation if you drop all claims against them (past, present and future). In most cases, you will not be able to take your claims to an Employment Tribunal or a civil court once you have entered into a Settlement Agreement.
Our skilled settlement agreement solicitors in Chelmsford can provide advice on whether a Settlement Agreement is the best option for you. We can also help you negotiate a strong, watertight agreement with your employer or former employer which allows you to move on with your life and career feeling confident and secure.
Whether you believe you need it, or not, it is legally required that you receive independent legal advice before entering into a Settlement Agreement, otherwise the courts will consider it invalid. Because of this, your employer will contribute to your legal fees to settle the matter.
How our Settlement Agreement solicitors can help
We understand how stressful employment claims can be. Not only is your livelihood and financial security at risk, but work-related issues can make you feel uncertain about your capability or angry about being mistreated.
We want to support you during this challenging time. Whatever your employment law issue, whether you are facing redundancy, a grievance procedure, or a pay dispute, we will ensure your best interests are represented at all times.
Settlement Agreements can save people a lot of time and money as they enable parties to resolve the issue long before it reaches an Employment Tribunal. If you decide a Settlement Agreement is the best way to go, we will ensure its terms are beneficial to you.
Why do employers like using Settlement Agreements?
Employment Tribunal proceedings are costly and disruptive for employers. Therefore, where a dispute can be settled amicably out of court, employers will usually take the opportunity.
For this reason, we often have some leverage when negotiating the terms of Settlement Agreements and can give you the best possible chance of achieving a positive outcome.
What terms do Settlement Agreements include?
Every Settlement Agreement will vary depending on the employer and employee’s individual situation. However, the Agreement will formally end the employee’s employment and the employer will often agree to pay compensation. Other common terms include:
- Confidentiality agreement – both you and your employer will agree not to disclose details of the dispute or the Agreement
- A waiver – you will usually be required to agree to drop or officially settle all your claims. This means you cannot later take your employer to an Employment Tribunal
- The official end date of your employment
- Agreement that your employer gives you a reference
Can I ask my employer for a Settlement Agreement?
Yes. You can ask your employer if they would be willing to enter into a Settlement Agreement with you. However, they are not obligated to accept.
There are circumstances where a Settlement Agreement is in the best interest of both parties and we can advise you through that process and help you negotiate those situations.
Are Settlement Agreements legally binding?
Settlement Agreements are legally binding if:
- You received independent legal advice by a qualified, insured legal advisor
- It is in writing
- It is signed by you
This means if your employer fails to stick to the terms of the Agreement, you can take them to court.
Why choose our Settlement Agreement solicitors in Chelmsford?
At Gepp Solicitors, we handle all types of employment law matter, from everyday workplace advice to complex Employment Tribunal claims. We have particular expertise helping employees settle disputes using confidential settlements.
Your case will always been overseen by a senior lawyer with specific experience in the issues you are facing. Our employment team is led by Alexandra Dean, a Partner in our firm with 20 years of experience. Alex is a member of the Employment Lawyers Association, an organisation which promotes principles of best practice within employment law teams.