In some ways, a Settlement Agreement is just a contract between an employer and an employee. However, the ramifications of such an agreement are so serious that the employee must take independent legal advice from a specialist Settlement Agreement Solicitor before signing. Read on for my client’s story to explain why.
What is a Settlement Agreement?
Settlement Agreements are offered by employers for many different reasons; and, accepted by employees for many reasons more. A Settlement Agreement is a contract which, usually, sets out terms for the employee to give up their job, their employment rights and any Employment Tribunal claims they may have in exchange for a compensatory payment from their employer.
How Did I Help Mr H?
A lovely gentleman called me and said he had a Settlement Agreement from his employer. He said he needed me to “look it over” but it was “all sorted” as he was being made redundant. As a specialist Settlement Agreement Solicitor, when I met with my client, I took the time to go through the background of his situation. He had been told by his employer that he was going to be made redundant but that it would be “easier” if he just signed a Settlement Agreement.
As part of our discussion, I explained to Mr H that he did not have to sign the Settlement Agreement if he did not want to. He was surprised by this as his employer had told him he needed to sign to get his redundancy payment. When we went through the compensation payment details, I noted his employers were offering him significantly less than he would receive if he was put through a redundancy process. I explained that as an employee with over 20 years’ service with the company, he had a minimum entitlement to 12 weeks’ notice and a substantial redundancy payment. Given these were his entitlements in any event, he would be accepting less if he signed the Settlement Agreement.
I also explained that given his minimum entitlements, he was not receiving any compensation for signing the Settlement Agreement itself and settling his rights and claims. We discussed that I would expect him to receive more compensation than his minimum rights given that he was signing an agreement whereby he was giving away any claims he had and his ability to challenge his employer’s decision to end his employment.
In exploring the above, Mr H explained the company had brought in some new directors and his “face no longer fit”. I discussed with him the criteria the company would have to satisfy to make him redundant. Mr H was a manager and one of a number of mangers at the company employed in a similar role. He had an exemplary employment record and, in the circumstances, I suggested that the company would struggle to make him redundant. This was due to the lack of any genuine redundancy situation but, also, the lack of any explanation as to why Mr H would be chosen for redundancy as against his colleagues undertaking similar roles.
Mr H stated that his trust in the company was lost. He commented that he wanted to leave but after 20 years’ loyal service he expected to be properly compensated. Therefore, he instructed me to renegotiate the Settlement Agreement for him.
I was happy to help and we achieved a deal far in excess of his minimum rights and which properly compensated him for signing a Settlement Agreement. My client was delighted and has now moved on to pastures new. Very kindly, he has already referred me to colleagues who are going through a similar situation.
Let A Settlement Agreement Solicitor From Lincs Law Help You.
Signing a Settlement Agreement will always be an important and personal decision for my clients. This can be a life-changing decision, but whether that change is for the good or otherwise, playing “what if” after you sign is simply too late. If you have been offered a Settlement Agreement and are looking for the right solicitor to help you, give me a call on 01522 440512 for a free, no obligation consultation. For more information about Lincs Law Employment Solicitors, including who we are and what we do, please visit our website at www.lincslaw.co.uk.
Specialist Settlement Agreement Solicitor
LincsLaw Solicitors, Lincoln
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