Employment law issues and disputes in the workplace have traditionally been resolved either through internal company policies, conciliation procedures or employment tribunals. However if the first two fail, the third is likely to be drawn out and costly. Settlement agreements, previously known as compromise agreements, are designed to bring a swift and certain conclusion to employment disputes.
A settlement agreement can be created either at the end of, or during employment. It is a legally binding arrangement which sets out agreed terms. Employers are increasingly using this method to negotiate a severance payment in return for the employee not pursuing existing grievances or claims through an employment tribunal.
For validity purposes, as an employee you are required to seek independent legal advice – for which your employer will normally pay. Through Oratto you can instantly contact an employment lawyer experienced in settlement agreements who will provide rapid and reliable advice. All of our member solicitors have years of experience in their chosen fields and provide top quality representation.
In many circumstances, employers will favour the drawing up of a settlement agreement as a way of preventing matters going forward to an employment tribunal or having a legal challenge made to redundancy. Your Oratto member lawyer will be able to analyse the situation and make sure your rights are protected within the agreement, along with your employer's. This is particularly important because once signed, a settlement agreement stops any further action in the future and the employee agrees to rescind all existing rights.
What do I need to know?
You will need to ensure that the amount, and any terms, of severance pay are both set out clearly with no room for question. You should also check that there are no restrictions over matters such as personal injury rights or your pension. Your Oratto member employment lawyer will be able to highlight and handle all pertinent issues for you.
Are there any other benefits?
Yes. There are other benefits to having a settlement agreement in place. Along with your severance pay, you also have the right to have a job reference attached to the agreement. Plus, clauses may be drawn up which prevent any negative comments being made about either party. This is particularly reassuring if you are moving forward to new employment.
If carefully and competently handled, settlement agreements can be an excellent solution to workplace disputes. Your employer is likely to be heavily influenced by commercial considerations and this gives you a good chance of negotiating favourable terms. And if you are certain that you want a settlement agreement whilst your employer is undecided, your Oratto member lawyer will be able to direct proceedings with your employer, or negotiate an increase to the proposed severance payment.
Settlement agreements are less time-consuming and less costly than employment tribunals. They are also potentially more favourable to the employee and give a more certain outcome. If this is something that you are either considering or already facing, get in contact with Oratto today for solid legal representation and cutting edge advice.
There are a number of ways to contact Oratto, by phone, an online chat or by filling in our Oratto Match form; either way, we will quickly and efficiently ensure you are put in contact with a member solicitor who is right for you.
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