SETTLEMENT AGREEMENT SOLICITORS - LIVERPOOL COMPROMISE COMPENSATION

 

SOLICITORS HELPLINE 0345 515 0362

 

Our solicitors deal with Liverpool employment disputes including compromise or settlement agreements. We have extensive experience advising employees on matters related to termination of employment on an agreed basis. Employees are legally required by statute to obtain expert advice from a lawyer or other designated person, on the terms of the settlement agreement they are negotiating with their employer. Because employers also benefit from an agreed termination, many will pay the lawyers professional fees that the employee incurs in obtaining that legal advice. Compromise agreement solicitors are qualified to provide the requisite advice to employees. You can contact us today for a free initial consultation with a lawyer by phoning us on our helpline or emailing our offices or by sending the contact form.

WHAT IS A SETTLEMENT AGREEMENT?

This type of arrangement, usually drafted by a specialist settlement agreement solicitor, is a legally binding document, signed by both the employee and employer, containing agreed terms relating to termination of the employment. This type of contract came about as a result of legislation enacted in 1993, with the goal of legally binding both the employer and the employee to the conditions of a termination settlement. Important factors for both parties to bear in mind when crafting the agreement include statutory requirements, bargaining positions, personal and professional conduct and the terms of the employment contract. There are several reasons why employers are amenable to settling by consent. First, handling the matter privately prevents the possibility of negative publicity due to information that comes out during a hearing. Avoiding a hearing in front of the Liverpool Employment Tribunal also saves the employer money. Finally, the employer can be certain of the amount he will be paying to the terminated employee.

VALID CONTRACT

Certain requirements must be met for the document to be a legally binding contract. To be valid it must meet all of the following conditions:


  • All of the agreement's terms and conditions must be in writing.



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  • The employee must obtain advice from a qualified professional person before signing the compromise agreement. Acceptable sources of advice are a qualified compromise agreement lawyer including a solicitor or a barrister, a qualified trade union representative, a member of the Institute of Legal Executives provided that they are employed and supervised by a solicitor and a certified and authorized employee of an advice centre.

PRACTICAL EFFECTS

Your compromise agreement lawyer will inevitably advise you that the single most important factor for employees to keep in mind is that signing the contract causes you to lose your ability to bring a claim against your employer in the Employment Tribunal or any other court. However, sometimes the contractual arrangements only cover certain topics, such as redundancy. If the arrangment covers limited topics, then while you're not able to bring a claim based on redundancy, you could still bring claims on other matters, such as discrimination.

It is not uncommon for an employer to try to get an employee to sign a "catch all" agreement, which amounts to the employee signing away all of his future rights to bring claims. Questions as to the legality of these all-encompassing agreements remain. Most compromise agreement lawyers will advise both employers and employees to avoid this type of clause. An employee is not required to sign if he is not satisfied with its terms. The offer can be rejected and the draft agreement will be returned to the employer for further negotiation. When deciding whether to accept the first draft of an agreement, employees should keep in mind that an employer's initial offer is likely to include more favourable terms than required by law. If a disagreement arises, the employer may decide to resort to the minimum sum prescribed by statute, which could very well be less than what was previously offered.



HELPLINE 0345 515 0362