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Employment Law Solicitor Chris Hadrill takes a look at settlement agreements and what factors you should weigh up in deciding whether to bring an employment tribunal claim or sign a settlement agreement.

If you’ve been offered a settlement agreement then you’ll want to know whether you’re being offered a fair value for settling your potential employment tribunal claims, and should therefore sign the settlement agreement, or whether you’d be better served in bringing a claim in the employment tribunal to try to obtain compensation. In order to determine whether the settlement agreement you’re being offered is fair or not, you should have reference to the following key factors:

  1. The nature of the potential employment tribunal claims you have
  2. The strength of the potential employment tribunal claims
  3. The reasonable value of those claims in the employment tribunal
  4. The amount you’re being offered in the settlement agreement to settle your potential claims
  5. Other relevant terms in the settlement agreement

The nature of the potential employment tribunal claims you have

Settlement agreements are normally used to settle the following types of potential employment tribunal proceedings: unfair dismissal (including redundancy), constructive dismissal, detriment and/or dismissal due to protected disclosures being made (also known as “whistleblowing”), workplace discrimination (in any form), harassment and/or victimization. Obviously, the types of claim that you can bring will very much depend on the particular facts of your matter. When you talk to the solicitor advising you on your settlement agreement you should put all of the facts of your case to him or her so they can advise you on which potential types of claim you may have.

The strength of the potential employment tribunal claims

You will have to rely on your solicitor to advise you of the potential strength of your employment tribunal claims. Your solicitor won’t be able to provide you with exact chances of success in your case but they should be able to let you know whether they think your case will be successful or not, and why. You should try and provide any and all documentary evidence to your legal adviser so that they can properly assess your claim, as well as letting them know who you think could provide relevant, supportive witness evidence (should this be applicable).

The reasonable value of those claims in the employment tribunal

Again, this is not an exact science at a pre-action stage (i.e. before you issue any claim in the employment tribunal) but your legal adviser should be able to inform you (on a broad basis) as to how much they think your potential employment tribunal claims are worth so this can be factored into an analysis of whether you’ve been offered a reasonably sufficient amount to settle these claims.

The amount you’re being offered in the settlement agreement to settle your potential claims

Your employer will normally inform you of how much they’re willing to offer to settle your claim – this will generally include the statutory and contractual minimum sums that you are owed (such as notice pay, accrued but untaken holiday, any other contractual entitlement e.g. commision or bonus etc.), as well as an ex-gratia sum to compensate you for the manner in which your employment was terminated. You should, at this point, be able to compare and contrast what you’re being offered by your employer against what you have been informed is the reasonable value of your employment tribunal claims.

Other relevant terms in the settlement agreement

How much you’re being paid to enter into a settlement agreement will normally be the most important aspect to a client but it isn’t the only factor. Other important terms in a settlement agreement can include whether the client is deemed to be a “good leaver”, provisions relating to gardening leave and whether there are restrictive covenants contained within the agreement (among other things). You should – as above – provide your legal adviser with a copy of your settlement agreement so they may properly advise you on the entirety of the terms that you’re agreeing to.

About Chris Hadrill

Chris is a specialist employment lawyer at Redmans. He specialises in contentious and non-contentious employment matters, including breach of contract claims, compromise agreements and Employment Tribunal cases. He writes on employment law matters on a variety of websites, including Direct 2 Lawyers, Lawontheweb.co.uk, LegalVoice, the Justice Gap and his own blog. Contact Chris by emailing him at chadrill@redmans.co.uk

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One Response to Employment Law Solicitor Chris Hadrill on how you determine whether to sign a settlement agreement or bring an employment tribunal claim

  1. […] settlement agreement isn’t what you wanted, carefully discuss with your solicitor what the various costs and benefits are to signing your settlement agreement or rejecting the settlement agreement and potentially […]

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    David L

    I was made a settlement offer by my employer to terminate my emplyment early. Redmans helped me understand the offer, and ensured that it was fair for someone in my position. They made a very stressful situation much easier. Excellent service.

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    I can highly recommend Redmans. The service was professional and prompt and I would not hesitate to use them again. Thanks

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    Anonymous

    Overall I am satisfied with the performance from Redmans. The reason I have given 4 stars is that I had quite a lot difficulty in contacting the representative which was initially nominated for me. However, when I contacted Chris instead, he was excellent over the phone and secured a great outcome in short order. I would recommend Redmans Solicitors.

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    Anonymous

    Chris and Redmans were a great help. Effective and efficient, quick response from my first enquiry and then straightforward and attentive throughout with ultimately a positive outcome. I will use them again and recommend them.

    Posted 1 week ago

    Marie P

    Great service, quick responses, good advice and all in a no nonsense, no jargon manner. Would definitely recommend.

    Posted 1 week ago

    Anonymous

    Rana was amazingly thorough and professional!

    Posted 1 week ago

    Anonymous

    I am extremely happy with the legal advice I was provided with. My case was resolved to the best of my expectations. Thank you very much for your professional help.

    Posted 1 week ago

    Shahzad R

    Chris and his team were excellent. They provided sound advice and consultation that resulted in more cash than was offered. Would definitely recommend.

    Posted 1 week ago

    Sanjay B

    I would like to take this opportunity to thank Mel Chin, for all her support during my settlement process. Where she provided a professional service and was understanding. I would confidently recommend Redmans Solicitors to my friends and family. Thank you and wishing you all a Merry Christmas.

    Posted 3 weeks ago

    Paul O

    Excellent response time and communication during my dealings with Redmans

    Posted 1 month ago

    Gil T

    I don’t normally write reviews, but thought it was time on this occasion. Just wanted to say that I highly recommend Redmans - especially Rana Tandon, who helped me navigate around my employment contract. Rana was meticulous and thorough and all over my needs. Would I use Redmans again ? ..absolutely

    Posted 1 month ago

    Stephanie D

    Very thorough and professional service. I was very nervous about my employment case, as I had never dealt with anything like it before. However, the solicitors who handled my case made sure I understood everything. I was never kept in the dark and Redmans kept me constantly informed about what was going on with my case. I would definitely recommend Redmans Solicitors

    Posted 1 month ago

    Richard S

    Chris and Sacha were great throughout the entire process. Chris was very helpful once the initial discussions with my company began and before we agreed there was a case. Sacha was very responsive, patient and helpful throughout ensuring I felt I had the right information to make the best decision on next steps. A close friend and wife have both used Redmans in the past few years for unfair dismissals and the service continues to be first-class and I would strongly recommend them again. They definitely help reduce the anxiety that comes with uncertainty around new processes and situations. Thank you!

    Posted 1 month ago

    Jianya

    Very nice and patient went through the whole document with me.

    Posted 1 month ago

    Susan L

    Very helpful and led me through the redundancy process.

    Posted 1 month ago

    Jennice

    I was very impressed with the service that I received, and the speed in which it was handled. I would recommend them to a family member

    Posted 1 month ago

    Anonymous

    Good service, but they could have been quicker in their responses to me. I also felt they could have made it clear at one crucial point that what I was proposing - and what I ultimately ended up doing - was counterproductive. (Had they made the rules around TOIL payments clear to me, this wouldn't have happened). Also, the amount I ended up paying was considerably higher than their original estimate. Still, satisfied with the service I received.

    Posted 1 month ago

    Anonymous

    Redmans assisted with a settlement agreement, providing a timely and professional service. Caroline articulates perfectly and was fantastic.

    Posted 1 month ago

    Anonymous

    Redmans Solicitors advised me on a settlement agreement with my employer. They smoothly guided me through the contents of the agreement and their practical implications, recommended some amendments to the agreement and answered all my questions. They also advised me to request that the severance payment be increased, which led to the amount being more than doubled in the end. They were approachable and professional at all times. I would recommend Redmans Solicitors to anyone dealing with a settlement agreement or requiring advice on employment law.

    Posted 1 month ago

    Anonymous

    I dealt with Chris Hadrill who was very knowledgeable and professional. To provide some context, I raised a grievance with my Employer and with the help of Redmans received a settlement offer. I have secured alternative employment and would recommend Redmans overall. I was very satisfied with the service I received and would rate it as 5 star.

    Posted 1 month ago

    Danielle T

    I contacted Redmans in regards to a situation I needed dealing with with my employer. This was resolved within a week of initial contact and I couldn’t be happier. Both Chris and Sacha were brilliant and couldn’t have been more helpful! Thanks guys!

    Posted 1 month ago