We understand that every client has an individual response to being offered a Settlement Agreement (previously known as a Compromise Agreement). For many people, the offer in itself can signify the end of their relationship with their Employer. Some clients are pleased to receive the offer of a Settlement Agreement as this may have been something they wanted or even negotiated with their employer. For others, the offer has been made by the employer “out of the blue” and they are struggling to come to terms with the fact that they are no longer wanted.
We understand problems at work don’t stay at work; they affect every part of your life, causing stress and anxiety for you and your family. Even if you are happy about receiving the Settlement Agreement, you will have questions about the terms and you will want to know what your options are. If you have received a Settlement Agreement from your employer “out of the blue” you will want clear advice about your options and next steps.
At LincsLaw Solicitors we pride ourselves in giving you clear advice about your individual situation, making sure you understand the consequences of signing (or not signing) your Settlement Agreement and by setting out your options clearly. Our qualified, specialist employment lawyers have over 50 years’ experience between them, time they have spent helping people just like you.
What are Settlement Agreements
A Settlement Agreement (formally known as a Compromise Agreement) is a legally binding contract between you and your employer. Usually, in a Settlement Agreement the employer will offer compensation to an employee in exchange for that employee giving up their employment and agreeing not to bring any claims against the employer. There can be a number of variations and sometimes an employee may agree to take a different job or move to a different location; however there will be a bargain or exchange between the Employer and Employee in the Settlement Agreement.
Whilst a Settlement Agreement may appear to be a normal contract, due to the inequality of the relationship between an employer and an employee, there are a number of additional legal requirements which must be observed before it can become binding and be enforced (if necessary) by the parties signing it. One of those requirements is that the employee must receive independent legal advice before signing the Settlement Agreement. Often the solicitor will have to sign a declaration with the Settlement Agreement confirming they have given such advice and that the Employee fully understands the consequences of signing.
It is likely that if you sign a Settlement Agreement you will lose your job and/or be losing your right to take action against your employer. In addition, the Settlement Agreement may contain clauses which prevent you from working in a particular area or in a particular industry. The consequences of signing a Settlement Agreement are potentially life changing. Whilst this may be a positive step for you and you may be happy to sign, you must make sure you understand the terms of the Settlement Agreement. In any event, you are obliged to take legal advice before you sign the Settlement Agreement and you should make sure you take full advantage of that advice and require your solicitor to go through the contract will you thoroughly.
If you wish to enquire about your Settlement Agreement, please contact Lincoln based LincsLaw Solicitors for a free, no obligation discussion.