Settlement Agreement Solicitor - Employment Compromise Law
A compromise or settlement agreement is a document that employers may present to their employees for signing. A settlement agreement is used to compromise a dispute or possible dispute between an employer and an employee. Usually the employee is leaving his/her job. The employer usually pays a sum of money in return for the employee agreeing not to take further action in relation to problems that may have arisen in relation to his/her employment. It is essential that the employee gets legal advice and that the document is carefully drawn up for both parties’ interests to be safeguarded and for the agreement to be legally binding. In order to be legally binding, the settlement agreement must be counter-signed by a solicitor or other authorised representative, who is advising the employee and who is independent of the employer. The employer will normally contribute to the legal fees incurred in receiving advice to compromise the issues between each party. The settlement agreement often offers an employee an amount of money over and above contractual obligations. This money is offered in return for the signing of the agreement. The wording in the agreement usually means that the employee is signing away any potential claim they may have against the employer, as a result of the employers actions or the dismissal. A settlement agreement is often a very important document. Once signed the employee would not normally be able to complain about any treatment he/she had received from the employer. Very often the sum offered will include an additional amount to cover the legal costs but it depends on the issues and whether the proposed compromise deal is straightforward.
Employment Law Solicitors
Our solicitors represent clients in matters relating to employment law. They assist and support employees who are presented with a severance agreement or a settlement agreement by their employer. They offer a free consultation to all employees who find themselves in this situation. Specialist employment solicitors who represent employees are always keen to examine the terms of compromise with a view to considering whether it is the best option for the client. An unsuitable or unfair agreement will be rejected and re-negotiated where appropriate. In the event that agreement cannot be reached between the employee and employer it is open to the employee's solicitor to take action in the Employment Tribunal using the no win no fee* scheme.
Specialist Legal Advice
Being presented with a settlement agreement to compromise any potential dispute by your employer can create an enormous amount of anxiety and uncertainty. It may feel as if your only option is to accept the existing terms of the agreement. In fact, these agreements can be very positive, provided the terms offered properly compensate you for loss of office and any potential claims. However, settlement agreements can sometimes contain terms that appear unfair or simply offer to honour the contract of employment and no more. If presented with a proposed agreement, you must see a solicitor who is independent of your employer immediately. It is important that you ensure that the solicitor specialises in employment law, as some of the issues arising in these agreements can be complex. It is very important that the circumstances behind any departure from the company or dismissal are explored and balanced against the amount of money being offered. If the amount of money does not properly compensate you, it would be necessary for your solicitor to negotiate terms with your employer. In some circumstances, you may be advised to refuse to sign the agreement and consider pursuing legal proceedings in the Employment Tribunal for unfair dismissal, discrimination or redundancy amongst many other remedies using the no win no fee* scheme.
An experienced employment solicitor will approach each situation with sensitivity and ensure that the client is fully informed of their potential claim and circumstances, prior to signing the settlement agreement. A good lawyer will not simply accept the terms originally offered by the employer and they will negotiate further payment where appropriate. The lawyer representing the employee must always be independent of the employer and will act in YOUR best interests even though the employer may be paying all of the legal costs. If the employee has not been properly compensated and it is not possible to negotiate a better deal with the employer then the employees solicitor will assist the client in pursuing matters before the Employment Tribunal. Settlement agreements are not just about the amount of compensation on offer. Factors such as confidentiality, references, share schemes and other savings plans, restrictive covenants (e.g. preventing employees from working for a competitor) are all highly relevant when employment ends. Our lawyers provide a service comprising of expertise, professionalism and practical, results-driven advice, working with you, to achieve your goals quickly and at a realistic cost.