Settlement agreements are voluntary agreements that can help resolve disputes between employees and employers amicably. Employees need to take independent legal advice before signing, but these agreements remove any possibility of a claim by an employee.
These agreements must be drafted in a specific way to ensure that they are binding on the employee. The employee must receive independent advice before signing and generally the employer will pay a reasonable contribution towards the cost of that advice.
Commencing settlement discussions can be a sensitive matter, and if you, as an employer, initiate them it is important to do so in such a way that ensures they cannot be used against you if talks break down. In appropriate cases, employers can benefit from ‘without prejudice’ status or from having a ‘protected conversation’.
What are the advantages of a settlement agreement?
In most cases, a settlement agreement will hold advantages for both the employee and the employer. With neither really wanting to deal with the uncertainty and publicity that an employment tribunal case involves. Settlement agreements provide a swift conclusion to disputes as long as they're drafted properly. As an employer you can receive the certainty that the employee can no longer take you to an employment tribunal.
Our settlement agreement advice for employers
To ensure we meet the needs of each employer and their unique situation we provide bespoke advice on how to deal with settlement agreements. Our settlement agreement advice includes:
- When to offer a settlement agreement
- ‘without prejudice’ and ‘protected conversation’ status
- Appropriate terms to propose
- Drafting settlement agreements and negotiating terms
- Compromising tribunal proceedings
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