At Jordans we specialise in advising employees and employers on Settlement Agreements.
With offices across West Yorkshire, if you have a Settlement Agreement question we have the answer.
Question: What is a Settlement Agreement?
Answer: A Settlement Agreement (previously called a Compromise Agreement) is a legal document which employers and employees use to resolve disputes. Most often, employment will end (although this is not compulsory) with the employee receiving a settlement package in return for settling/waiving any and all claims against their employer.
Question: What constitutes a Settlement Agreement?
Answer: A Settlement Agreement has to be in writing and it must relate to a particular complaint or particular proceedings. Crucially, an employee is legally required to take legal advice from a relevant independent adviser on the terms and effect of the Agreement and its impact on their ability to pursue any rights before an Employment Tribunal. The best example of such a relevant independent adviser is a Jordans employment solicitor.
Question: When can a Settlement Agreement be used?
Answer: Settlement Agreements are used in all sorts of situations. Whenever there is a problem – and it could be redundancy, misconduct, performance, ill-health, some other substantial reason (SOSR), grievances, bullying, constructive dismissal, discrimination or otherwise – a Settlement Agreement can solve it. Settlement Agreements can be used at any time before, during or after employment. The advantage of a Settlement Agreement is it can nip a dispute in the bud in the same way it can end a long running dispute.
Question: Why sign a Settlement Agreement?
Answer: For employers, a Settlement Agreement can represent a commercially sensible solution. If a dispute ends in a time-consuming and costly Employment Tribunal claim there is no upside for an employer. For employees, the aim of an Employment Tribunal claim is often financial compensation. A Settlement Agreement addresses that exact aim without the cost, time and stress of going to the Tribunal.
Question: Who drafted the Settlement Agreement?
Answer: This would normally be your employer. There is no standard form of Settlement Agreement which every employer uses and we have seen hundreds of variations over the years. Employers are best advised to seek help drafting a Settlement Agreement as it prevents problems at a later stage.
Question: Who signs a Settlement Agreement?
Answer: The employer and employee will both sign the Settlement Agreement. An employer normally prefers to sign last as the document is not normally legally binding until that second signature and they prefer to be in control of if and when that happens. The independent legal adviser is normally asked to sign a Certificate which is incorporated within the document.
Question: Who can sign and witness a Settlement Agreement?
Answer: A Jordans employment solicitor! (although other qualified lawyers and certified trade union & voluntary sector advisers are available). We are not actually witnessing the Agreement but we do ensure the legal requirements have been met and that you are entering into it with your eyes open.
Question: How to calculate and negotiate a Settlement Agreement?
Answer: This is an all excellent question. For the answer telephone our Employment solicitor team on 01924 387 110.
Bonus Question: If you are looking for expert employment solicitors to help you with your Settlement Agreement and the question you type into your preferred internet search engine is: settlement agreement wakefield ; settlement agreement dewsbury ; settlement agreement horsforth ; settlement agreement yorkshire ?
Bonus Answer: The answer is … Jordans Solicitors.
For more information or to speak to one of our employment solicitors, please call us on 01924 387 110.