If your employer has presented you with a Settlement Agreement, it is important that you seek legal advice as soon as possible.
The financial impact of Covid-19 has forced the hand of many businesses to let staff go. However, as an employee, you must receive advice from a solicitor before signing any Settlement Agreement.
Settlement Agreements are often used to end employment quicker than redundancy. However, you need to know that you are being treated fairly and that you do not have a case for discrimination or unfair dismissal.
What are the implications of a Settlement Agreement?
Once your departure has been agreed, the aim of a Settlement Agreement is to give your employer the confidence that you cannot bring a future legal claim against them. The benefit to you, as the employee, is that the agreement is usually accompanied by a sum of money.
Once you sign the agreement, it is legally binding. That’s why it is important to ensure that it covers everything you wish to receive since it acts as a final break with your employer. You will not be able to bring a legal claim against the employer after the agreement has been signed.
Why should you instruct a solicitor?
For an employment Settlement Agreement to be valid, the employee must have received advice from an independent legal adviser, such as a solicitor. The solicitor signs what is called an adviser’s certificate as part of the process.
There are, of course, other reasons for instructing a solicitor. Redundancy law is complex. Many employees are unaware that they are being treated unfairly. They may not know whether they could have a legitimate claim to make against their employer.
Unfair dismissal is the most common claim. If, however, your employment is being terminated in connection with a health problem, for instance, then disability discrimination might apply.
Your employment solicitor will review your Settlement Agreement and go through each part of it with you so that you know exactly what you may be agreeing to.
How can Burnett Barker Solicitors help?
Our employment law solicitors have extensive experience in negotiating Settlement Agreements and redundancy payments. If you have been offered an agreement and need independent legal advice to ensure it is fair, we can help.
For straightforward Settlement Agreements, we charge a fixed fee from £420 (including VAT). Our solicitors will advise you on your Settlement Agreement and provide the adviser’s certificate. Usually, your employer would pay this fee.
Where the Settlement Agreement is more complex, we will agree a bespoke fee arrangement with you. This is often the case for senior employees or where the termination payment exceeds £25,000.
If you’re not sure that the offer from your employer is sufficient, we can usually advise you on your options for a fixed fee of £149 (including VAT). This would be payable by you rather than your employer. Likewise, if you would like us to try and negotiate a better settlement offer, we can typically do this for a fixed fee of £600 (including VAT).
Simply call us on 01284 701131 or send us a message. Our team is ready to give you clear, accurate advice on your settlement agreement.