Employment settlement agreements – what are they and what do I need to do?
What is an employment settlement agreement?
- A settlement agreement is a legally binding agreement between an employer and employee.
- Usually the employee will receive a severance payment in return for their agreement not to pursue a claim in a court or employment tribunal against the employer.
Do you need to see a solicitor?
- Yes – once the settlement agreement has been entered in to, it will prevent you from being able to pursue claims in the court or tribunal. Because of this, there are certain requirements which must be met for a settlement agreement to be legally binding. One of these requirements is that the employee must seek independent legal advice about the terms of the settlement agreement.
At Hewitts, our specialist employment team can provide advice to employees who have been offered a settlement by their employer.
What to expect at your appointment?
- The first step is to contact one of our offices for an appointment with an employment solicitor.
- We will ask you to provide us with a copy of the agreement before your appointment.
- During the appointment we will discuss your options and, if you wish to enter in to the settlement agreement, we will advise you on the terms of the agreement.
What are the costs?
- Usually the employer will offer to meet the legal costs involved in obtaining independent legal advice, or will make a contribution to the cost. In most cases involving settlement agreements we act on a fixed fee basis, and our fee estimate will rarely exceed the contribution that your employer is willing to make. This means that in the vast majority of cases, there is nothing for the client to pay.
What should I do next?
If you require advice about a settlement agreement, please contact one of our four offices for an appointment with a specialist employment solicitor.