Settlement agreements (until 29 July 2013 known as Compromise Agreements) were established as a mechanism for employees to be able to settle their claims against their employers without the need to enter into formal negotiations via ACAS.
Settlement Agreements are now used by employers to settle all kinds of employee claims and in respect of nearly all dismissals or resignations where there is a risk of claims or simply to record agreed exit terms.
Without a settlement agreement or ACAS settlement agreement an employee cannot give up their statutory rights and claims (such as unfair dismissal and discrimination) even if they had signed a contract or letter stating that they were giving up these rights.
A settlement agreement achieves a binding settlement by being in writing and by the employee taking independent legal advice regarding their claims and the terms of the agreement. The legal advisor signs a certificate to confirm the advice has been given and technically that is all that is needed.
The lawyers at Draper Lang LLP and the Employment Law Partnership Limited do not simply sign the certificate and take their fee (which is normally paid by the employer). We treat clients with settlement agreements just like any other and will seek the best outcome possible for each individual.
FOR EXAMPLE - We recently negotiated a 450% increase in a senior executive’s termination payment, advised on an agreement paying the employee in excess of £2.5 million and we achieved a 50% increase for a junior broker within the 48 hour completion deadline, even though he was happy to accept the initial offer.