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Everything You Need To Know About Settlement Agreements

A redundancy settlement agreement is an important document. But what does it actually do? These challenging times have badly affected job security across a number of industries. Redundancies have become increasingly common. However, receiving compensation for losing your job can be a complicated process. Now more than ever, people need to know who they can turn to for help.

Here at Norton Peskett Solicitors we have a wealth of knowledge and experience in employment law. We can guide you through the legalities of a settlement agreement. That way the outcome is the best result for you personally. Read on to learn more about what a redundancy settlement agreement means.

What is a settlement agreement?

Settlement agreements are legally binding contracts between employers, and employees who have been made redundant. Different agreements will vary in detail. In short, it is a promise not to make a claim against your employer. This is generally in exchange for a negotiated amount in compensation. By law you must get independent legal advice on a settlement agreement. If you don’t, it will not be legally binding. This advice will also help you to decide if the agreement is a good one or not. For example, it may be better to make a claim if you’ve been unfairly dismissed or discriminated against.

What are the benefits to signing a settlement agreement?

When an employer makes staff redundant, they have to go through a consultation process with workers who have lost their jobs. This can be complicated, unpleasant and time-consuming. A settlement agreement can help to make this process quicker and less stressful. When a redundancy is fair, an employer is generally not required to pay any more than statutory redundancy. By negotiating an agreement, employees could receive a more generous pay out. When you negotiate a redundancy settlement agreement you can also ask for a protected conversation. This means that your words cannot be used as evidence if there is a dispute in the future.

What rights do I have?

If you are offered a settlement agreement you have a right to independent legal advice. Taking advice will help you decide whether or not the agreement is the best option for you. It will help you understand the terms of the agreement and how it might affect you going forward. You have a right to a ‘reasonable’ amount of time to consider the pros and cons of the agreement. ACAS guidance states that employees should be allowed ten calendar days for this. If you feel the offer is unfair, you have the right to refuse to sign the agreement. However, you may risk receiving only statutory redundancy pay.

What rights do I lose?

Your employer may have agreed to help with legal fees, but only if you sign the agreement. That could also be an issue. If you sign the agreement, you will lose your right to statutory redundancy pay. A confidentially clause may also prevent you from speaking out about your employer.

Norton Peskett Solicitors are ready to help. Contact us for more information or advice.

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