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Chris Hadrill, the partner in the employment team at Redmans, analyses the “ACAS Guide on Settlement Agreements”: what is it, and what effect does it have?

What is the ACAS Guide on Settlement Agreements?

The ACAS Guide on Settlement Agreements is, to put it bluntly, a guide to settlement agreements published by ACAS. It contains guidance for employers and employees on the purpose and form of settlement agreements, as well as the admissibility of discussions relating to the offer of a settlement agreement (or the offer of settlement terms). It also contains a helpful explanation of who can enter into a settlement agreement, why an employer and an employee may wish to enter into a settlement agreement, and what the risks and benefits of completing a settlement agreement are.

What effect does the ACAS Guide on Settlement Agreements have?

The ACAS Guide on Settlement Agreements is intended to be a guide to “good employment practice”, rather than stipulating legal requirements for settlement agreements. For example, the ACAS Guide specifies that an employee should be allowed up to ten days in which to consider the offer of a settlement agreement as a matter of good practice; in reality, there is no legal requirement for employers to provide an employee with a reasonable amount of time in which to consider the terms of the agreement (although it is normally recommended that a reasonable period of time is given to the employee for various reasons).

If an employer is seeking to pressure you into signing a settlement agreement without giving you a reasonable period of time in which to consider the terms of the agreement then you should flag up to your employer what the ACAS Guide recommends in terms of timelines, and seek an extension of time in which to consider the terms.

How can the ACAS Guide on Settlement Agreements be helpful?

The ACAS Guide on Settlement Agreements can be extremely helpful – it is an easily-digestible guide to what an employee or an employer may want to consider when agreeing settlement terms (whether this is in relation to the termination of the employment relationship or not). It also contains some helpful templates for letters that an employee and/or an employer may wish to use when entering into and negotiating settlement agreements.

However, although the ACAS Guide on Settlement Agreements can be helpful, it is always advisable to obtain independent legal advice from a legal adviser (such as, for example, a specialist employment solicitor) – obtaining such advice will allow you to understand exactly what you’re signing, how the agreement can be improved, and what steps are necessary to finalize the settlement agreement (should you wish to sign it). Your employer will normally pay for this legal advice, and you’ll therefore normally have access to specialist legal advice on your settlement agreement with no direct cost to you.

The ACAS Guide on Settlement Agreements can be found here.

About

Redmans Employment Team deal with employment matters for both employers and employees, including drafting employment contracts and policies, advising employers and employees on compromise agreements, handling day-to-day HR issues, advising on restructures, and handling Employment Tribunal cases for both employers and employees Call 020 3397 3603 to speak to one of the members of our employment team or email us on enquiries@redmans.co.uk. Redmans have offices in Richmond, Chiswick, Hammersmith, Fulham, Kingston, Wimbledon, Ealing, Kings Cross and Marylebone (meetings strictly by appointment only).

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    Mark Q

    Five Stars I was most impressed by the attention, courtesy, speed and above all, professionalism in dealing with my Settlement Agreement. I would certainly have no problem in recommending this firm to anyone in need of their services.

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    I was surprisingly impressed by how Redmans Solicitors handle my case. From the moment I call them to the absolute end of my case, they always look after my best interest.

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    Excellent service all the way through from start to finish. Really great support and guidance from the team, they secured the offer that I wanted. I can't recommend Redmans highly enough and will be sure to use their services again should the need arise.

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    Anonymous

    Efficient and quick service!

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    Karen B

    Quick response very helpful Issue raised dealt with very quickly

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    Carmen T

    Redmans give Great service and advice on reading contracts. They can explain all the solicitors jargon into words that you can understand. I received excellent service an I will use them again and again.

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    Anonymous

    Very grateful for Mel’s efforts in handling my case from start to finish which I would have found very stressful without it. She was very professional, friendly and we had a positive outcome. Highly recommend.

    Posted 1 month ago

    Nalin W

    Mel Chin was my Legal Executive when I engaged the services of Redmans Solicitors to help with a redundancy matter. She was incredibly approachable and professional from start to finish. Specially I have to mention regarding prompt reply to all my email queries, It was super quick. I would thoroughly recommend Mel Chin. Many Thanks

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    Anonymous

    I'd highly recommend Redmans Solicitors. Mel was very helpful and assisted me throughout my case.

    Posted 2 months ago

    Anonymous

    Sacha was very thorough and very helpful, with great advice on when to act and when to wait on my case.

    Posted 2 months ago

    Anonymous

    I have been very pleased with the support I got from Redmans Solicitors on my case with my employer. Caroline has always helped me to put things in perspective and showed me different scenarios ultimately to help me taking the right decision. She was very professional and always available when I needed, and at the same time also emphatic which I found also really important to establish a strong relationship. Will definitely recommend!

    Posted 2 months ago

    Anonymous

    Prompt and efficient response to my enquiries. Excellent negotiating skills with my employer which considerably improved the terms of my settlement agreement.

    Posted 2 months ago

    Anonymous

    Very quick and professional service , Rana was very helpful

    Posted 2 months ago

    James G

    Very professional, knowledgeable and kept me informed at every stage of my case. I would highly recommend Redmans.

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    Pravina P

    Chris was really good and help solve my issues with current company. I would recommend him to anyone.

    Posted 2 months ago

    Paul L

    Sacha was extremely helpful in my matter. I would not hesitate you use Sacha or Redmonds again. Everyone was very helpful.

    Posted 3 months ago

    Monique N

    I had Mel Chin helping me with a settlement and she was very professional and reliable throughout my case. Mel provided me with a good understanding of what was happening and gave suggestions on routes I could take. My case was resolved and closed promptly although the opposing side were very difficult to deal with. A very big thank you to Mel and Chris.

    Posted 3 months ago

    Jackie C

    My first ever experience needing the services of a solicitor; cannot speak highly enough of Mel and Chris’s personable, reassuring and straight to the point advice in dealing with my settlement agreement. They put me at ease during an extremely stressful time. I am equally as happy with the outcome, as l am their professional services.

    Posted 3 months ago

    ""

    Really happy with the service. All very efficient. Mel rattled through things very fast, however was great whenever I needed to stop and ask a question! Would definitely return to Redmans if I ever needed Legal advice.

    Posted 3 months ago

    Peter F

    Very helpful and clear advice, would highly recommend.

    Posted 3 months ago