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If you’ve been offered a settlement agreement by your employer then there’s a number of reasons why you should obtain specialist legal advice on your agreement – one of these being that your solicitor will have the expert knowledge needed to negotiate your settlement agreement. Employment law solicitor Chris Hadrill takes a look at how a settlement agreement should and can be negotiated, with some practical tips

What is a settlement agreement?

A settlement agreement is a contract regulated by statute which allows for potential or existing legal proceedings (whether these are in the employment tribunal, county court, or high court) to be settled. If an employee signs a settlement agreement this normally means that they’re prevented from bringing any claims in the tribunal or court, whether the claim is for breach of contract, unfair dismissal, discrimination, failure to pay wages, or any other form of claim. Under the agreement, the employee will, however, be provided with some form of benefit for agreeing to waive their rights to bring such claims, with such benefit normally involving some form of monetary sum and the provision of a reference.

Do you have to sign your settlement agreement or can your negotiate it?

You certainly don’t have to sign your settlement agreement as it is and it is often (although not always) advisable that you push your employer (gently) to see how much you can potentially obtain from the negotiations. If you wish to negotiate your agreement then this can be done by one of two ways: you can either do it yourself or, alternatively, instruct a third party (such as a specialist employment solicitor) to do this for you. Which approach is best in the circumstances really depends upon a number of factors, such as the nature of your potential claims, whether you still have a good relationship with the management of the business, and whether you feel confident in doing so (among other things).

Tips and tactics for negotiating a settlement agreement

If you’re looking to negotiate your settlement agreement with your employer (or are looking to instruct a solicitor to do so for you), there are a number of helpful tactics and tips which might help you to get what you want. These include:

  1. Instructing a specialist solicitor to negotiate you or advise you on your claims – your employer will generally cover part – if not the whole – of the cost of doing so
  2. Research your potential claims and determine where your leverage is – if you look like you don’t know what you’re doing then your employer will take advantage of this
  3. Be aware that you potentially have a £30,000 tax-free allowance for your settlement agreement (depending upon the type of claims that are being settled) – take advantage of this if you can
  4. Bear in mind that there is a three months less one day limitation period for Employment Tribunal claims – if you miss this then you lose a great part of your leverage
  5. Employers often play ‘hard ball’ – don’t be intimidated if you get an aggressive response
  6. If you make a ‘counter-offer’ to your employer’s offer of the settlement agreement then your employer is entitled (potentially) to withdraw from negotiations – this isn’t likely but bear it in mind as a possibility

If you’ve got any further questions then please don’t hesitate to contact Chris Hadrill or one of our specialist employment team on 020 3397 3603

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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    Testimonials

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    273 Reviews

    Mark M

    I found Redmans very easy to work with. Mel was very responsive, her advice led to an improved settlement. . Recommended.!

    Posted 2 days ago

    Anonymous

    Fantastic service. I would recommend Redmans to anyone who needed a Solicitor. The communication was second to none and consistent clear guidance was given.

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    Anonymous

    Everyone I dealt with at Redmans were professional, empathetic & always responded promptly and helped make the transition as smooth & efficient as possible for me. If you need legal advice, don’t hesitate & contact the team.

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    Anonymous

    Sacha was incredibly helpful and professional. Timely and accurate advice at a time I most needed it. I was extremely impressed and grateful.

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    Sue W

    The people at Redmans talk to you with respect and make you feel like they take your situation personal. They clearly care and are extremely professional. I have recommended Redmans to many people.

    Posted 3 weeks ago

    Anonymous

    Redmans Solicitors were consistently prompt, efficient and professional from the start of my reaching out to them for support in relation to contentious negotiations of an employment matter that continued for almost two months resulting in a positive settlement agreement. Chris Hadrill was diligent, thorough, empathetic and objective in his advice and guidance, showing deep and broad knowledge of the law and legal processes plus extensive practical experience in handling complex matters, resulting in clear and pragmatic advice in ambiguous circumstances that resulted in a very good outcome. I fully recommend Chris Hadrill and Redmans Solicitors! I have made this review anonymous purely because of the confidentiality obligations in the settlement agreement concluded.

    Posted 1 month ago

    Michelle W

    Redmans solicitors provided legal support and advice for a settlement agreement. Excellent customer service, very professional. The senior associate solicitor kept me updated throughout the process, showed empathy and the agreement was signed-off / completed within the agreed timeline.

    Posted 1 month ago

    Mark W

    Redmans Solicitors were extremely professional and helpful! Chris Hadrill handled my case and was an amazing help! His guidance, advice and understanding to my redundancy settlement were always clear, concise and very helpful and I am very grateful to him, and glad I found Redmans to help with my settlement. I highly recommend them!

    Posted 1 month ago

    Alison M

    Very happy with the advice I received

    Posted 2 months ago

    Margaret A

    I found everything about the company to be extremely professional and efficient. During my initial contact with Chris, he listened well and was reassuring, so I felt confident that my case would be well handled. Caroline was excellent at explaining all the legal points and answering my questions, as well as being very supportive and understanding throughout the process. I would definitely recommend this company.

    Posted 2 months ago

    Sanja K

    Very efficient and professional service.

    Posted 2 months ago

    Anonymous

    I found the advice I was given by Redmans Solicitors to be clear and useful and found the solicitor on my case to be both knowledgeable and approachable.

    Posted 2 months ago

    Karen T

    Great service. Thank you.

    Posted 2 months ago

    Anonymous

    Excellent service from Chris & Mel Chin. The best outcome was achieved from the redundancy process. They were extremely thorough, listened carefully and acted swiftly on my behalf. I highly recommend Redmans Solicitors

    Posted 2 months ago

    Shanine M

    Excellent service, thank you so much!

    Posted 2 months ago

    Anonymous

    I found Caroline and Chris very Helpful and provided excellent service. Caroline especially provided great legal advice and made me feel at ease with the whole process. I would highly recommend them. Thank you!

    Posted 2 months ago

    Gayle B

    Excellent company very professional would definitely recommend

    Posted 2 months ago

    Alex K

    Redmans provided an excellent service, timely and effective. Will definitely recommend.

    Posted 2 months ago

    Anonymous

    Great job done on my employment law

    Posted 2 months ago

    Dominica S

    Caroline & Chris were very prompt and efficient.Very happy with the service and will definitely recommend Redmans Solicitor to everyone !

    Posted 2 months ago

    Sandra K

    If you are looking for a group of solicitors who are Professional, Caring and on point, then look no futher than Redmans. I was literally hand held through out my case. Can not find fault with this company, very happy with the result and the service i received. Would highly recommend Redmans.

    Posted 2 months ago