I was delighted to help a recent client with his Settlement Agreement. Read on for more information…
My Client’s Story
My client’s employer was being sold to another company. All staff, including my client, were transferring from their old employer to the new company under the Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) Regulations 2006 (“TUPE”).
My client had no concerns about the sale of his employer, nor any concerns about transferring to the new company. Indeed, he explained the new company was bigger and would offer him more opportunity than his current employer.
The issue arose as the new employers wanted to change terms & conditions of employment for their staff. Also, for key employees, including my client, they wanted to offer promotional terms & conditions but wanted to ensure that in doing so, they would not fall foul of the TUPE Regulations.
To explain, where an employee transfers from one employer to another under TUPE, their terms & conditions of employment are preserved and protected. Subject to some particular exceptions, any attempt to change terms & conditions (even if they are more favourable) would result in a breach of the TUPE Regulations.
Accordingly, my client was told that in order to receive his promotion and his improved terms & conditions of employment he would need to sign a Settlement Agreement. A Settlement Agreement being a document under which an employee can waive and settle their employment rights and claims (including their TUPE rights), subject to certain formalities as required by this type of contract.
My client was also told that he was being asked to sign a Settlement Agreement because he was so “business critical” and the company were anxious for him to sign the Settlement Agreement so he would commit to remaining in their employment.
My client arranged an appointment to meet with me so that we could go through the Settlement Agreement together. When we started going through the contract, it became clear that the Settlement Agreement was not as had been suggested to him. Indeed, I had a number of concerns about the provisions in the Settlement Agreement and, in particular, attempts to sever my client’s employment and his continuous service, which would leave him vulnerable to dismissal.
I suggested a number of changes that he should be making. I was also concerned that some of the schedules which were absolutely crucial to the Settlement Agreement were missing in the version of the contract my client had been asked to sign. As such, I commented to him that although his employers were pressing him to sign and return the document as drafted, he should absolutely not do so until he had a full and complete document.
In the event, it became clear that there was no malicious intent on behalf of his new employer. Simply, they had not quite understood the Settlement Agreement as drafted and, certainly, the terms of the contract were not as they intended. As such, my client was anxious not to be put in a position of dispute with his new employers. Therefore, we all worked together to produce a Settlement Agreement that all parties were happy with and achieved what all parties intended.
My client was delighted with the outcome and I was very grateful to receive his kind review as below: –
“Sally was brilliant from start to finish. Very knowledgeable and patient with both myself and my employer(s). Thank you for all the advice and support in what was a stressful and confusing time for me.”
Lincs Law Employment Solicitors Can Help You
If you have received a Settlement Agreement and want expert assistance and advice, call 01522 440512. Alternatively, if you want to find out more about Settlement Agreements and how they might help you, please visit our website at https://lincslaw.co.uk/services/settlement-agreement/
Managing Director, Specialist Employment Law Solicitor
Lincs Law Employment Solicitors