Employment Settlement Agreements for Employees

Settlement agreements are typically an agreement where you as the employee are paid a sum of money in exchange for signing away claims against your employer. As an employee, seeking expert legal advice when presented with a settlement agreement is absolutely essential.

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Settlement agreements are voluntary and can be offered at any time during the employment relationship or afterwards and the process of entering into settlement discussions can be instigated by you as an employee.

At Anderson Strathern, we provide comprehensive advice in relation to employment settlement agreements for employees. No matter what industry you work in or what position you hold within a company, we can provide carefully tailored support that helps you to understand exactly where you stand and what affect a settlement agreement will have on your employment rights.

While your employer has a range of serious legal responsibilities towards you, as an employee, we understand that you may feel as though you have little say when it comes to responding to a settlement agreement. This is certainly not the case.

When instructed, our solicitors make sure to take a holistic approach to dealing with settlement agreements, taking every step to keep negotiations as productive as possible in order to find a mutually acceptable resolution.

We can offer settlement agreement support to employees in a number of ways, including:

  • Responding to settlement agreements
  • Negotiation and mediation
  • Employment tribunal proceedings where the settlement agreement offered if not in an employee’s best interests to accept

Speak to our settlement agreement solicitors today

If you’re looking for advice on employment settlement agreements for employees 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

We can advise and support clients entering into settlement agreements in a way that makes the process as easy as possible for you and seeks to find the right solution for both parties.

Employment Tribunal proceedings can be lengthy, costly and the outcome is ultimately out with each party’s control. A settlement agreement may offer a more straightforward, cost-effective and speedy solution.

Responding to settlement agreements

If presented with a settlement agreement, it is important for you to have a clear and thorough understanding of what you are agreeing to and also the effect entering into the agreement will have on your employment rights.

Settlement agreements can deal with a wide range of issues; they don’t need to be restricted to waiving the statutory employment related claims (for example unfair dismissal, discrimination, and holiday pay) in exchange for money. Settlement agreements also commonly include provisions regarding entitlement to shares, company property, references, benefits, and post-termination restrictive covenants.

The decision to enter into a settlement agreement is a matter for each party. Your solicitor’s role in the process will be to provide advice on the purpose and effect of the agreement, what options each party has available, and discussion of a tactical strategy to improve the terms of the offer, if that is what you want.

Negotiation and mediation

It is important to note that reaching an agreement via a settlement agreement will always involve some degree of negotiation between the parties. Our solicitors can work alongside you during these negotiations, helping you to establish your position and help you achieve your desired outcome, which may include adjusting your entitlements and the terms of post-termination restrictive covenants.

In addition to this, our team can also guide you through the process of mediation, where you engage in negotiations with the support of a trained third-party mediator. We will ensure that you are fully prepared and supported for these sessions.

We can also advise you and provide you with the necessary guidance if you are planning to ask your employer to offer you a settlement agreement, and whether negotiating this request would be in your best interests.

Employment tribunals

If you are unable to come to an agreement over a settlement agreement, or your employer is not willing to offer you the terms you are looking for, it may be necessary to take your matter to the employment tribunal. This may also be necessary if your matter is particularly complicated and will not be adequately covered by a settlement agreement.

In these situations, our employment solicitors, can provide you with all the support and guidance you need. We understand that the prospect of bringing an employment tribunal claim can be very daunting, which is why we always offer sensitive and practical guidance.

Can my employer dismiss me if I refuse a settlement agreement?

If your employer threatens dismissal before they have launched any formal disciplinary processes, this could constitute improper behaviour and could be taken forward to a tribunal. However, it is important to stress that every case is different.

Your employer may have sufficient grounds to dismiss you if you reject a settlement, which is why it is absolutely essential that you seek legal advice before proceeding to reject a settlement agreement.

Is the amount of money my employer offered me fair?

How much you receive as part of a settlement agreement can depend on a number of factors including:

  • Whether you have a valid claim
  • The reason for your employment relationship changing or coming to an end
  • Whether you are alleged to have committed an act of misconduct
  • How averse to risk your employer is
  • What your own circumstances are and what’s happened during your employment
  • What your contract says
  • Each party’s approach to negotiation

Can I sue my employer after signing a settlement agreement?

In the majority of cases, you will not be able to take legal action against your employer after you sign a settlement agreement. This includes taking cases through to the employment tribunal after the settlement agreement has been signed.

How long does an employee have to consider a settlement agreement?

The Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service (ACAS) advise that employers should provide an employee with ‘reasonable time’ to consider and respond to a proposed settlement agreement.

What is considered ‘reasonable’ will vary depending on the circumstances and will often be agreed on by both parties. However, in the absence of an agreement, the employer should allow an employee ten calendar days to consider the terms of a settlement agreement and to take independent legal advice.

Can I ask for a settlement agreement?

Settlement agreements will usually be offered to you by your employer, rather than the other way round. However, while you do not have any legal rights to ask for a settlement agreement, there is nothing stopping you from requesting one from your employer and we can advise on the best way to approach this.

It will then be up to the employer whether they decide to take your request into consideration and offer you a settlement agreement.

Why work with our settlement agreement solicitors?

Our highly experienced team can provide tailored advice on employment settlement agreements for employees, having established strong expertise in the employment sector. We are well positioned to provide you with the advice you need, whether that is assessing the merits of an initial settlement agreement or helping you to negotiate a better deal.

Our employment law team includes experienced advocates in the Employment tribunal and accredited mediators.

Speak to our settlement agreement solicitors today

If you’re looking for advice on employment settlement agreements for employees, 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.

"Their advice is pragmatic, solidly based in case law and employment law and they give me options to consider."

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