If you are an employer or employee that is party to a workplace dispute, you might be considering instructing a barrister to advise you on a settlement agreement.
Why would an employer offer a settlement agreement?
Employers might offer a settlement agreement to bring an employment dispute to an end. If you are an employer that is concerned about an employee bringing a claim against you at an employment tribunal, a settlement agreement can be a useful way of ensuring they do not. Settlement agreements are legally binding and prevent the employee bringing a claim for disputes or conduct outlined in the agreement.
Having a watertight settlement agreement in place can protect the reputation of your business and also save the additional time and cost that you could incur if you were to go to an employment tribunal. It is essential to get expert legal advice to ensure your business is adequately protected from potential employee claims, and an expert employment barrister is the most qualified to assist you.
What should an employee look for in a settlement agreement?
If you have been offered a settlement agreement by your employer, you do not have to accept the agreement right away. In fact, it is actually a legal requirement that you have had independent legal advice with regards to the settlement agreement otherwise it will not become legally binding.Often, employers will offer to pay the legal expenses associated with seeking legal advice on a settlement agreement.
Your barrister will seek to get you the best deal possible, including a monetary settlement, a good reference, a preferable termination date if your contract is to come to an end, and any other benefits you believe you are entitled to. The financial amount you might expect to receive should be in line with: what an employment tribunal would be likely to award you if you were to bring a case before it, length of service, your position, the difficulty of getting a new role and the length of time you can expect to be out of employment, along with other factors which might affect your overall financial position.
Settlement agreements can be a useful tool for both employees and employers, and expert legal advice is essential in getting the most out of a settlement agreement. To discuss how our barristers might help you get the most out of a settlement agreement, contact our direct access barristers now.