What are my options?
I am happy with the terms of my settlement agreement
It may be the case that you are happy with the offer you have received and therefore there is nothing to stop you from simply signing, however getting advice from a legal professional is always advised to ensure you are getting the best deal possible. In many cases receiving advice for a settlement agreement will be free. Your employer will usually pay for you to receive independent legal advice. This is because if you sign a settlement agreement without receiving independent legal advice first, you may still be able to go to an employment tribunal.
I don’t think my agreement is fair
Alternatively, you may feel unhappy with the settlement agreement you have been presented with. In this case, you can enter negotiations or simply reject it completely. It is always important to understand everything in the agreement before signing so that you can ensure both you and your employer comply with the terms to avoid any future disputes. a solicitor can help you decide whether you are happy with the terms of the settlement agreement and discuss your options.
Read more about deciding if your settlement agreement is fair.
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What are your options when presented with a settlement agreement?
There are advantages to simply accepting what you are offered which are dependent on your specific situation. You may feel as though you just want closure from the situation without the hassle of legal negotiations, although we strongly advise you to seek legal advice first to make sure that your agreement is fair.
The terms of the settlement must be agreed by both yourself and your employer. Your solicitor can advise what is reasonable in your case and help you to form a negotiation strategy. Negotiations are usually carried out via what is known as protected conversation, and it’s important to state that you are negotiating without prejudice.
What to consider when deciding whether to negotiate
- Have you worked for your employer for 2 or more years? If not, you cannot bring an Unfair Dismissal claim against them as stated in the Employment Rights Act of 1996. However, you may be able to claim on account of discrimination or whistleblowing providing you have evidence to support your statement.
- How strong is your potential claim?
- How long will it take you to find another job? This can affect the compensation pay you are given regarding loss of work hours.
You are not obligated to accept a settlement agreement, but this does not prevent your employer from dismissing you regardless. If you do turn it down, there may be the option to make a claim against your employer however this is not guaranteed to get you as much money as you may have been offered originally. Therefore, it is recommended to seek legal advice as soon as you are presented with a settlement agreement.
Things to consider when deciding whether to accept, negotiate or reject a settlement agreement:
Might not be the best deal for you
|Might get a better deal
Legal costs paid by employer
Matters of discrimination compensated
Risk of getting less than originally offered
May still get dismissed from work