For expert help with settlement agreements, don’t hesitate to contact the employment law solicitors at Slater and Gordon Lawyers. Whether you need expert advice within a short deadline, or assistance with negotiation, call us on freephone 0808 175 8000 or contact us online.
We’re experts in advising on and negotiating severance agreements ranging from relatively straightforward pre-agreed settlement deals right through to complex, high-value arrangements that may involve structured payments and share options.
What’s the difference between a compromise agreement and a settlement agreement?
There is no difference. It’s just that “compromise agreement” was the old name for a “settlement agreement” and so sometimes people still use the old name. . Compromise or settlement agreements are legal documents which record the terms of settlement with your employer and bring to an end your right to pursue any claims through the employment tribunal. You need to take legal advice before signing, but the settlement agreement will then be legally binding. In the majority of cases, they include a financial payment to the worker, and they may also include a reference. Settlement agreements can be proposed by either the employee or the employer, but in most cases the employer takes this step.
When are compromise agreements or settlement agreements used?
Typically, settlement agreements are used at the end of a negotiation about a workplace dispute, once a deal is reached with your employer. They are often also used when employers offer staff an enhanced redundancy package (over and above the notice and redundancy payments they’re entitled to), so that the employee is getting something in return for giving up their workers’ rights.
Do I have to sign a settlement agreement if my employer asks me to?
No. Settlement agreements are completely voluntary and their terms must be agreed by both parties. Neither the employee nor the employer can be forced to enter into one of these agreements if they don’t wish to do so.
Terms negotiated through compromise or settlement agreements can often represent a better deal than what can be achieved through fighting the case at tribunal, not just because of certainty over the financial package, but also by securing terms which a tribunal can’t award, such as a reference wording or handover arrangements. Effective negotiation of compromise or settlement agreements can remove the need for you to bring formal proceedings against your employer, which can be a time-consuming and costly route to take, and which may attract publicity.
Why should you seek legal advice?
You will have to take advice from an independent adviser before signing a settlement agreement for it to be legally binding. However, it is a good idea to take expert advice from an employment law solicitor as soon as possible, if you want help negotiating the terms of your settlement agreement, since this can be invaluable in getting to a deal you’re happy to accept.
Having expert settlement agreement solicitors at your side will help you to achieve the best possible outcome. A knowledgeable and experienced lawyer can advise you on any claims you may have and will negotiate the most favorable compensation package for you. They’ll also make sure that the deal is suitably drafted to provide you with the legal protection you require. If appropriate, they can challenge the terms being offered by your employer and negotiate a better package. Many employers are receptive to requests for more generous terms if a solid, well-reasoned argument is presented and there’s a sound legal basis for it.
Any dispute with your employer or former employer can be a highly stressful situation. Turning to legal experts for support can help remove some of the anxiety and uncertainty for you while at the same time protecting your rights.
Want to know more?
If you’d like to discover more about settlement agreements, you can download and print our Settlement Agreement Legal Advice Guide. Alternatively, if you have any specific questions or you want to discuss your particular situation, you can call our experts on freephone 0808 175 8000 or contact us online.
How can Slater and Gordon Lawyers help you?
When you come to Slater and Gordon Lawyers for help with a settlement agreement, you can rest assured you’ll benefit from the highest level of expertise. Our employment solicitors are independently top-ranked nationally, with enormous experience in negotiating settlement agreements. We’ll provide you with information, advice and assistance you can rely on at each stage of the process.
We provide you with prompt, authoritative and practical legal advice on settlement agreements. For further information and to find out how we can help you, don’t hesitate to contact us on freephone 0808 175 8000. Alternatively, you could complete our online contact form and we’ll call you at a time that’s convenient.
Slater and Gordon Lawyers is one of the largest and best known law firms in the UK, with offices across the country. Wherever you’re based, we’re available to provide prompt assistance and to help protect your rights.