A Settlement Agreement (still commonly referred to as a “Compromise Agreement”) is a legally binding agreement that typically comes with a severance payment, as well as other benefits that your employer might give to you.
In return for any payment and benefits, you will have to agree to not make any claim against your employer at an employment tribunal. Once signed and certified by an independent solicitor, a settlement agreement is legally binding.
You must take independent legal advice from a lawyer in order to validate the agreement, but your employer will usually cover any costs incurred for this purpose.
There are various circumstances in which a Settlement Agreement may be appropriate, such as redundancy or as a result of performance or conduct issues.
Your employer is allowed to approach you about a potential termination of your employment if, and only if, it is to discuss a Settlement Agreement. (If your employer approached you to have an open discussion about ending your employment in any other way you could use it as evidence in a constructive dismissal case.)
The Government wants to encourage the use of Settlement Agreements as a way to end employment by mutual agreement, because it eliminates the possibility of reaching a formal dispute.
Furthermore, employees continue to enjoy the full protection of their employment rights while considering the agreement’s terms, as they can still choose to reject the offer made in a Settlement Agreement and proceed to a tribunal instead.
Mackrell Turner Garrett has particular expertise in the field of Settlement Agreements. For more information about how our experienced legal professionals can help you, please contact us.
Our free guide is also available to download and provides additional information.