Top tips: how to negotiate a settlement agreement

Top tips: how to negotiate a settlement agreement

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.

Consider your thoughts on the proposed settlement agreement arrangement

Whilst you may not feel the financial arrangements are adequate, this is not always the case. 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’s important to consider carefully what your future plans may be and whether these restrictions are likely to cause you difficulties.

Make yourself aware of limitation dates on bringing a claim

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.

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.

Know the risks

There is always a risk when negotiating on a settlement agreement that either party can pull out. It’s therefore important that when negotiating with your employer you are realistic about what is requested. Both parties should aim to respond to each other in a timely manner and answer any queries the other have. 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.