We understand that when you need to seek independent employment law advice, it is often a time of uncertainty and change for you and we aim to make the process as simple, smooth and stress-free for you as possible.
The full cost of advising you and/or negotiating a settlement agreement is generally recoverable from your employer so there will be no additional cost to you. We regularly achieve settlements for our clients substantially in excess of the amount initially offered to them by their employer.
Once you are happy with the terms you have been offered, it is usually possible to conclude the matter quickly, often within a day or so. If negotiation is required, settlement is normally achievable within 2-3 weeks.
What is a Settlement Agreement?
Your employer may offer you a Settlement Agreement which sets out their proposals for resolving a dispute with you or for terminating your employment. Once signed, a Settlement Agreement will generally settle all claims in connection with your employment or its termination which you have or may have in the future against your employer and any associated employer and/or directors and shareholders.
A Settlement Agreement will provide you and your employer with certainty as to the exit terms so that you know what final pay and benefits you will receive and your employer will have peace of mind that you cannot later bring an employment-related claim against them.
A Settlement Agreement may be offered in a wide variety of circumstances including in a redundancy situation where an enhanced redundancy payment is being made, where there are performance improvement or capability proceedings underway or where an individual has been on long term sick leave. Often an employer will have a “protected conversation” with you and offer a Settlement Agreement but it is open to you to ask for a Settlement Agreement in certain situations, for instance, where you have raised a grievance or other complaint that has been upheld.
Settlement Agreements were formerly known as compromise agreements and sometimes they are also called “severance agreements” or “redundancy agreements.”
It is a legal requirement for an employee to obtain independent legal advice on the terms and effect of the agreement before signing a Settlement Agreement.
Why consult Premier Legal LLP about your Settlement Agreement?
- You will be advised by a senior, highly experienced barrister or solicitor with many years’ experience in advising and negotiating on Settlement Agreements
- Premier Legal LLP is ranked amongst the UK’s leading employment law firms in the Legal 500
- If you are happy with the terms offered we shall advise you on the terms and effect of the Settlement Agreement by going through the agreement with you to ensure that you understand what it covers.
- If you are not sure whether you wish to accept the offer, we shall advise you as to your potential claims and the value of those claims and whether we consider that improved terms should be sought. We can negotiate with your employer on your behalf with a view to securing improved terms for you. At any one time, we are dealing with a number of settlement negotiations on behalf of our clients and we routinely achieve excellent results.
- We will ensure that the terms are beneficial to you and protect your interests
- We are extremely responsive and can work to your timescales
- Appointments can generally be made for a consultation the same day, if necessary
- The amount of your employer’s contribution to legal costs will cover your legal fees unless negotiation is required in which case we will seek an increased contribution from your employer and we will keep you fully informed regarding costs.
- If your Settlement Agreement includes a Share Purchase Agreement or issues surrounding sweet and/or strip equity we will usually call upon the expertise of a corporate colleague to ensure that you receive appropriate specialist advice in relation to the corporate aspects of the Settlement Agreement
Settlement Agreement FAQs
This varies from case to case but usually settlement agreements are given in good time before the proposed termination date. Where a settlement agreement is offered following a “protected conversation” your employer should allow you at least 10 days to consider the agreement.
Your employer may wish to settle the terms of a dispute with you or to agree the terms of your departure from the organisation. Once signed, a settlement agreement will be legally binding and you will not be able to pursue claims against your former employer. An employer has the comfort of knowing that no claims will arise following the termination of your employment.
If you do not wish to accept the settlement offer there is no obligation to do so. We can advise you as to whether the offer and terms of the agreement are reasonable. Once a settlement agreement is signed it is legally binding and it is therefore essential to ensure that you are satisfied with the terms before you sign it.
We shall advise you as to your legal entitlements and potential claims. We shall review your settlement agreement and advise you whether or not it is reasonable in the circumstances.
In order to be valid, you must receive independent legal advice from a relevant independent adviser regarding the terms and effect of the agreement and especially on your rights to pursue claims in the employment tribunal. A relevant independent adviser includes qualified solicitors and barristers. Some other qualified advisers can also advise on settlement agreements including certain trade union officials provided that they have been certified as authorised and competent. Only advice as to the terms and effect of the agreement is required in order for it to be valid and there is no requirement for advice to be given as to whether or not the deal is a good one for the individual. The adviser must not be acting for the employer in the matter or for an associated employer.
Non-financial arrangements are often included in settlement agreements. Examples of these are agreed references, the provision of outplacement training and agreed announcements regarding the employee’s departure.
A provision requiring an employee to withdraw or not to pursue an existing DSAR may be included in the Settlement agreement as part of the agreed settlement terms and may be enforceable as the employee will be receiving independent legal advice on this.
Yes, however, any payments that are in excess of the individual’s contractual, statutory and other entitlements are likely to amount to “special severance payments” which are subject to certain procedures. Treasury or Ministerial approval is usually required for such payments to be agreed. This can delay the process of concluding a settlement.
✅ What we do:
- Offer a professional & objective assessment of your situation
- Explain the law and process clearly so you can make an informed choice on how to proceed
- Communicate with you confidentially in a way that you choose
- Keep you fully informed every step of the way
❌ What we DON’T do:
- Take on your case if we don’t believe we can achieve the settlement you are looking for
- Charge you directly for our service, any costs are typically paid by your employer
- Contact you about any other matter unless you request it
- Share your information with any 3rd parties
Independent Legal Advice
We are a well established law firm of solicitors based in London and Nottingham that specialises exclusively in employment law and we are members of the Employment Lawyers Association.
As we are specialist employment law solicitors with many years’ experience, you can rest assured in the knowledge that you will receive expert and independent legal advice.We are experts in advising on settlement agreements and conducting negotiations and our aim is always to achieve the best possible outcome for you. Results, quality of service, attention to clients and responsiveness are our priorities. You can be confident of receiving a first rate service from an experienced solicitor who will handle your matter from start to finish.