Settlement agreement advice for employers

At Anderson Strathern we provide comprehensive and straightforward settlement agreement advice for employers. Whether you are an owner/manager of an organisation, a HR professional or an in-house solicitor, we have the expertise and years of combined experience to help you. Taking advice from specialist lawyers who regularly appear before employment tribunal judges will keep you on the right track.

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Employment disputes, whether a grievance or disciplinary issue, can often involve a lengthy and formal process. We can guide clients to come to a satisfactory settlement agreement in an amicable way, aiming to find a solution that works for both parties. Tribunals can be costly, and the outcome is often unpredictable. A settlement agreement may offer a more straightforward and cost-effective alternative solution.

Many clients and their advisers now recognise that alternative ways to resolve disputes are worth considering. All of our team members engage both in giving direct advice to clients and representing clients before the Employment Tribunals. They’ll always look for the best route to find a mutually acceptable resolution using direct negotiation, mediation, and other alternative dispute resolution processes where appropriate.

Our Mediation services may also be of interest to you and your organisation. Through this service we can offer support for clients looking to use mediation, either for specific business issues or to embed a culture within your organisation.

We can offer settlement agreement support for employers in various ways, including:

  • Settlement agreement legal advice
  • Strategic advice on negotiation of a Settlement agreement
  • Mediation as an alternative route
  • Drafting settlement agreements
  • Employment tribunal processes

Speak to our settlement agreement solicitors today

If you’re looking for settlement agreement advice for employers, get in touch with our expert lawyers today.

Contact us on 0131 270 7700, visit our offices in EdinburghGlasgowEast Lothian or Shetland, or fill in our enquiry form at the bottom of the page to request a call back.

Our expertise with settlement agreements

Legal advice on settlement agreements

If you are an employer who is attempting to settle an employment claim, or terminate an employee’s contract, it is vital that you seek legal advice before drafting and offering a settlement agreement.

It may be appropriate to offer a settlement as opposed to a lengthy performance, redundancy, or disciplinary process. An employer may also need legal advice on using a settlement agreement to resolve a dispute or claim against them.

The circumstances surrounding employment claims can be difficult to navigate, particularly where an employee has accused an employer of discrimination, harassment or unfair working conditions. To resolve difficulties and maintain your reputation, specialist legal advice is paramount.

Negotiation and mediation

Reaching a settlement agreement involves a negotiation process between the employer and the employee. Our solicitors can provide legal advice both prior to the negotiation stages, and during.

Mediation processes are a useful legal process to resolve disputes and come to a mutually acceptable agreement. Our experts will ensure that employers are adequately prepared and supported during mediation sessions.

If you are considering offering your employee a settlement agreement, we can advise you on whether this would be appropriate and how you can do about this at the same time as reducing risk to your organisation. If an employee has asked for a settlement agreement, we can guide you how to take the next steps while protecting your interests.

Drafting settlement agreements

Our expert solicitors can support you in drafting a fair settlement agreement, reflecting the particulars and nuances of the situation. It is vital that settlement agreements are correctly drafted, to avoid confusion or unfavourable outcomes. For instance, these agreements typically include a confidentially clause.

We have ample experience in drafting settlement agreements, and are dedicated to helping employers to reach settlements swiftly, avoiding drawn out processes and excessive downtime and costs.

Employment Tribunals

Our specialist solicitors can settle the majority of claims without needing to resort to employment tribunal hearings. Where your employment dispute is particularly complicated, it may be necessary to escalate your claim to a tribunal.

In these situations, our solicitors can offer all the assistance you need. We appreciate that dealing with employee disputes can be stressful, and therefore we strive to offer the strategic and practical guidance employers need in a supportive manner.

What employers need to know about settlement agreements

What are settlement agreements?

A settlement agreement refers to a legal contract between an employer and an employee. These contracts are used to agree terms to end an employee contract, or to resolve a disagreement. For instance, such agreements can be used to settle disputes regarding pay, working conditions, restrictive covenants, discrimination, or unfair dismissal.

Generally, settlement agreements mean that the employer pays a sum of money to the employee, and from this point the employee waives their rights to make a claim against the employer.

Our solicitors at Anderson Strathern are here to offer specialist settlement agreement advice for employers. Contact us for more information.

What’s the difference between a settlement agreement and a compromise agreement?

Before July 2013, a settlement agreement was called a compromise agreement. Essentially there is no difference between these two legal documents.

The guidelines that govern settlement agreements are outlined in the Employments Rights Act. These agreements give employers and employers the chance to settle a dispute or swiftly end an employment contract on mutually agreed terms.

What does a settlement agreement include?

A settlement agreement may include various terms, depending on the circumstances. A typical agreement would include the following:

  • The amount of compensation that the employee will receive
  • Information about the claims that have been settled
  • Details about claims that have been excluded
  • The date that the employee’s contract will end
  • A confidentiality clause
  • Restrictions which the employee should abide by post termination of employment

Why do employers use settlement agreements?

Settlement agreements provide employers with a way to avoid formal redundancy or disciplinary processes. Negotiating a settlement agreement with an employee can help companies to save time and money. Under some circumstances these agreements can also protect employees from unfair dismissal claims.

How are the amounts offered in settlement agreements calculated?

Settlement agreements are calculated based on the specific circumstances and usually reflect the level of the employee’s salary during their employment and the contractual payments due to the employee on termination of employment. They can also include compensatory payments.  Employer’s however have a wide degree of discretion in the offer they make to employees.

Our solicitors will start by reviewing the situation and then help employers determine what constitutes as a fair and reasonable settlement offer in the circumstances.

What is a reasonable settlement agreement?

What makes a reasonable settlement depends on why the contract is being terminated, or the nature of the employment claim. The following payments would usually be included as part of a settlement agreement:

  • Benefits and salary up until the termination of employment
  • Notice pay, which could be garden leave, or working a notice period
  • A payment for any holidays accumulated before the termination date
  • Money owed before the terminate date, (for example commission or bonuses)
  • Compensation, (the amount will vary depending on the company, job role and negotiated settlement)

Who can sign settlement agreements?

A settlement agreement, must be signed by both the employer and the employee. Only once both parties have signed, the agreement considered to be legally binding.

It is necessary that the employee has received legal advice before signing the settlement agreement.

What should you do if an employee has asked for a settlement agreement?

If an employee has asked for a settlement agreement you should seek legal support before proceeding. Depending on the nature of the claim, it may or may not be beneficial for you to enter into a settlement  agreement.

Regardless of the circumstances, working with a solicitor is the best way to protect your interests and work towards a favourable outcome.

Speak to our settlement agreement solicitors today

If you’re looking for settlement agreement advice for employers get in touch with our expert team today.

Contact us on 0131 270 7700, visit our offices in EdinburghGlasgowEast Lothian or Shetland, or fill in our enquiry form at the bottom of the page to request a call back.

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