What is a Settlement Agreement?

It’s an agreement used to settle employment disputes between employees and employers or to agree termination of employment. These used to be known as compromise agreements.

Why do I need a Solicitor?

The wording of such agreements is often complex and legalistic. If you are offered a settlement agreement you need to fully understand the document before you can sign it. For a settlement agreement to be legally binding the law requires an independent solicitor or adviser to advise about the terms and effect of the agreement.

We have many years of experience in advising about such agreements across the UK.

What does a Settlement Agreement cover?

It often settles all actual or potential legal claims that an employee may have against an employer connected to employment or the fact that employment is ending, such as unfair dismissal or discrimination claims.

We can advise about the types of claim that should be kept out and excluded from the scope of the agreement, such as latent personal injury claims, pension rights and the right to enforce the terms of the agreement.

There are also often complex and detailed obligations about which you will need expert, independent advice.

What terms should you look for in the Agreement?

Always be careful about what you sign.

These agreements can be very complex. What appears to be straightforward might have important consequences that you are not aware of – but if you sign the agreement, you will have to live with them.

We take the stress out of the process for you, looking for the drafting errors and the unintended consequences that you might miss.

For example, are the legal obligations mutual and balanced? Does your employer need to treat you the same way you are expected to treat them?

Is an agreed employment reference part of the deal and part of the agreement? How important might it be in the future?

What warranties are you expected to give within the agreement? How will they affect you a year from now?

We can advise on all these things and we promise to explain them all in plain English.

How much will a Solicitor cost?

Your employer will normally pay the legal fees for obtaining advice about the settlement agreement.

How long does it take to finalise one?

Timescales can vary but it’s often urgent.

They often need to be finalised quickly and because of our size, experience and the use of the latest technology, our employment team is able to provide detailed advice and assistance urgently and at short notice.

What is you need us to negotiate?

We regularly negotiate changes to the content and terms of these agreements.

Get the right advice

What if you need us to negotiate?

We are a law firm for individuals. Having represented private clients and members of trade unions, associations and professional bodies for over 100 years we have extensive experience in giving advice to individuals on all aspects of employment law, including settlement agreements. Our clients are employees across a broad spectrum of industries and sectors, within small local businesses, public authorities, national bodies and the largest corporations. This experience means we know what to look for in a settlement agreement, relevant to your workplace, industry, profession or area of work.

To make an appointment with one of our solicitors, either in person or over the telephone, please call our Settlement Agreement Team on 033 3344 9603 or e-mail settlementagreement@morrishsolicitors.com.

This Fact Sheet is for information only and is not intended to be a substitute for legal advice.