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Help with compromise or settlement agreements

We can draw up contracts between employer and employee, to agree not to pursue a claim for breach of contract.

Is a current or former employee taking – or threatening – legal action against your business? First4Lawyers can help you draw up a settlement agreement. 

If an ex-employee agrees to sign a settlement agreement you offer them, this could prevent a lengthy legal battle that takes up too much of your time and costs your business in the long run.

What are settlement agreements?

Settlement agreements, formerly known as compromise agreements, are written documents that set out the terms and conditions to settle a dispute between your business and a current or former employee.

The dispute may arise from a claim by the employee for a grievance against you. This could follow a dismissal, redundancy, or even resignation. More specifically, the grievance could relate to the following:

  • Wages or salary has not been paid in full (perhaps relating to bonuses).
  • A contractual right to wages/salary in lieu of notice (PILON).
  • A failure to respect the ex-employee’s statutory rights (Employment Rights Act 1996).
  • A breach of the contractual terms of their employment e.g. you have not given enough notice prior to dismissal.
  • Discrimination on the grounds of things such as sex, religion, marital status, or colour.

What are the advantages of settlement agreements for employers?

If the employee has legitimate grounds for a claim against you in UK law, there are many advantages to offering them a settlement agreement:

  • May provide a quick and dignified end to an employment relationship that is no longer beneficial to your business.
  • Saves time, cost and stress – allows you to get on with running your business.
  • Can prevent your employee from making derogatory comments – a confidentiality clause may help preserve the good name of your company.
  • It waives the employee’s rights within their employment contract and ends your association with them.

However, settlement agreements also come with possible disadvantages. These include the following:

  • You must pay a guaranteed financial sum to the employee to sever your relationship with them.
  • If they do not agree to the settlement you may have to risk their on-going employment if they have not yet been dismissed, and further disputes.
  • It could risk healthy relations with the wider workforce if you offer the agreement as a substitute for good management or otherwise inappropriate behaviour.

Why choose First4Lawyers?

Expert legal services for your business needs - whether it's employment law, policies or commercial property, we can help.

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How is a settlement offer made?

It could be helpful to make a verbal offer to gauge their response to the terms of the agreement. It would then be advisable to put the offer in writing to help avoid any misunderstanding.

Bear in mind that when compromise agreements became settlement agreements, it became possible for pre-termination discussions to be confidential, which means they cannot be used as part of a later unfair dismissal claim even when there is no current dispute (i.e. the proposed agreement comes out of the blue for one party).

A written offer will outline the terms you propose to include in the agreement – for example, the amount of compensation you wish to offer. The final settlement agreement must then be put in writing in line with UK law – for which you will likely need legal advice, such as the kind First4Lawyers provides.

The employee must seek independent advice from an expert advisor for the settlement agreement to be valid.

What terms should we include in the settlement agreement?

The terms of the agreement will usually depend on the specific circumstances of the case. For example, the basis of the employee’s claim, such as lack of notice, inadequate wages, or unfair dismissal. You may wish to take the following criteria into account:

  • Length of time employee has worked for you.
  • How long it could take to resolve the issue if you cannot reach a settlement.
  • The potential costs and liabilities of losing an employment tribunal case.
  • How difficult it would be to fill the post.

If after your discussions and negotiations, you and your employee agree on a settlement, you must then draw up a formal written agreement.

You may wish to include a confidentiality clause which prevents the employee from disclosing the details of the agreement, or from making derogatory comments about your company.

My business needs further help with settlement agreements – what happens next?

We can help ensure the document you draw up includes terms that best protect your interests in line with UK law.

We're here to guide you on the most appropriate course of action when dealing with employee disputes. At every stage of the process, our specialist business solicitors seek to give your company the legal and financial protection it needs.

To find out more either call us, contact us below or request a callback at the top of the screen.

Need a hand? First4Lawyers will...

  • Review your legal requirements for free
  • Recommend the most appropriate action based on your personal needs
  • Assign you a pre-vetted solicitor from our expert panel

Holly was amazing, her attentiveness, understanding and her general customer care was outstanding. Made me feel very comfortable speaking to her. I could not recommend a better company to speak to and with such amazing staff.

Miss Emma J

I was dealt with the most kind and caring manner by Rebeka. Also very efficient by explaining everything I had to know and connecting me to a solicitors who would deal with my claim. Thank you!

Mrs A Hill

Nice staff, very helpful and very easy to deal with. The initial part only took a few minutes. Staff also very knowledgeable and know what they are talking about.

Mr Richardson

Spoke with a lovely advisor called Chelsea who was great. She listened to everything that I said and gave brilliant advice. Her customer service was brilliant, she was very polite and gave me all the information about what are the next steps.

Mr N Dean

Get in touch today to discuss your requirements 08005677866