If you have come to an amicable exit agreement with your employer, you may wonder why you are required to take independent legal advice on the Settlement Agreement.
The purpose of a Settlement Agreement is usually twofold. Firstly, it will record the arrangements that have been made between you and your employer (such as whether notice will be worked, how and when property will be returned and details of the financial package).
Secondly, it will stop you from bringing certain employment related claims against your employer. However, the Settlement Agreement will only be valid in this regard if you receive independent legal advice on it. You must be advised on the terms and effect of the Settlement Agreement and, in particular, its effect on your ability to pursue your rights at an Employment Tribunal. It is for this reason that your employer will insist that you take legal advice and will usually pay for this advice.
The legal advice must be from a “qualified adviser.” As solicitors, we are qualified to advise you on your Settlement Agreement and sign the Adviser’s Certificate. The Law Society can provide details of all practising solicitors.
Even if you are relatively happy with the financial package being offered, and already understand the effect of signing the Settlement Agreement, it can still be useful to speak to a specialist employment solicitor about it. It is important to understand what you are signing because, if you breach the terms, you could risk not receiving the Compensation Payment.
As specialist Settlement Agreement solicitors, we can take you through the Agreement in plain English. We will advise whether the Settlement Agreement contains anything untoward and what steps you need to take (or not take) to make sure you do not breach it. By way of example, we can advise on the following:
- Whether you are required to take any steps to update your social media accounts, such as LinkedIn, and when this must be done by
- The effect signing the Settlement Agreement has on any post-termination restrictions (or other clauses which continue after you have left employment) contained in your contract of employment
- What would happen if you were to receive a job offer or accept new employment before the Termination Date or the date the Settlement Agreement is signed
- Whether there are any unusual clauses which you should be particularly alert to
We offer a full virtual service and are used to working to tight deadlines. We try to work to the budget set by the employer and, where possible, will invoice them directly.
Please get in touch to speak to one of our friendly solicitors on on 01483 303636 to see how we can help.