• When an employee is given a settlement agreement it is not always expected, and it can mean that you may quickly have to assess how to put yourself in the best position when leaving employment.

    We have set out below the factors to consider.

    Are you happy with what is being offered in the settlement agreement?

    You may not be happy to enter into the agreement on the basis of the financial offer being made to you. Furthermore, if the employer has drafted the settlement agreement you may want to suggest changes to the drafting and your legal adviser will be able to suggest appropriate changes.

    It may be that the agreement imposes new obligations into the agreement such as restrictions on your ability to work for another employer. It is important to consider carefully what your future plans may be and whether these restrictions are likely to cause you difficulties in your search for new employment.

    What are the deadlines you need to be aware of?

    A settlement agreement is, generally speaking, intended to settle any claims that you may have against your employer arising out of your employment or its termination. When you are negotiating on an agreement it is important not to forget the time frame you would need to contact ACAS to bring your employment tribunal claim as, if you do so, you may be prevented from pursuing any claim at all.

    Understand the strength of your own position

    If your potential claims have a strong prospect of success you are likely to be in a better bargaining position with your employer to request changes to a settlement agreement. It is important to receive realistic advice on likely prospects and to be able to communicate your position effectively to an employer.

    If you are not happy with the sums being presented to you under the agreement, it will benefit you to seek legal advice on the merits of any claim you have and how best to go back to your employer to get a better financial settlement.

    Know the risks

    There is always a risk when negotiating the terms of a settlement agreement that either party could pull out. It is therefore important that when negotiating with your employer you are realistic about the terms that you are asking for. Both parties should aim to respond to each other in a timely manner and answer any queries the other has. Not all negotiations will contain contentious points and sometimes all that is needed is clarity.

    Brachers has one of the largest employment teams in the South East. If you would like to speak to someone about a settlement agreement received, please contact a member of the employment team or take a look at our advice on what to expect in your settlement agreement.



    This content is correct at time of publication

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    Take a look at our Employment Advice page for useful information, resources, guidance, details of our team and how we may be able to help you

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