Settlement agreement advice for employees
Settlement agreements explained
A settlement agreement is a special contract between an employees and employer, designed to set out the terms for the employee leaving their job. It’s used when employment has ended either because of a dispute or because of redundancy. Usually, a settlement agreement pays the employee a sum of money, provided they agree not to take the employer to court or to an employment tribunal.
Legal advice on settlement agreements can be worth a lot
If you’ve got to the point of being offered a settlement agreement by your employer, you need plain English legal advice fast, to help you decide whether to accept the offer. We’ll tell you if we think you are getting a good deal or whether you could perhaps negotiate something better. We’ll review the agreement and make sure you aren’t committing to terms that are unreasonable.
For many people, a settlement agreement comes at a stressful time. We’re skilled at communicating calmly and patiently, helping you make confident decisions and move matters forward in a way you’re happy with. In urgent situations, we can often agree the settlement within 24 hours.
- Immediate appointments
- Fixed fees (your employer usually pays)
- Expert opinion on the value of the agreement
- The consequences explained
- Alternative options explained
You’ve nothing to lose, because specialist settlement agreement advice from a Webster & Co barrister or lawyer will cost you nothing: employers almost always pay for this because they have a responsibility to make sure you fully understand anything you sign.
Phone us for support and advice on 0800 772 3300 or fill in the online contact form.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can an employee appeal against the employer?
Nothing should stop an employee from making an appeal if he/she is not satisfied with the action taken by the employer. The appeal should be in writing, stating the employee’s grounds and reasons for the appeal. Employers should respond to the employee in writing, without unreasonable delay. An employee also has a statutory right to be accompanied by a colleague or union representative. A failure by an employer to resolve a grievance can, in certain circumstances, amount to constructive dismissal. If your employer has failed to resolve a grievance which is making your workplace intolerable for you, please contact me immediately and I will advise you of your options. If you think that your problems at work have not been resolved fairly or reasonably, please click here
to contact me.
It’s illegal under the Equality Act 2010 to discriminate against a person because of their age, race, gender, sex, sexual orientation, religion or disability. If you’ve experienced discrimination at work because of any of these things and your employer hasn’t put it right, we can help you understand what you can do about it and act for you in negotiations or legal action.
Appeals and grievances
If you’re not happy with the action taken by your employer, you can appeal in writing. State clearly why you’re appealing. Your employer needs to reply in writing promptly.
If you raise a grievance and your employer arranges a meeting to discuss it with you, you have the right to take a colleague or union member with you.
Sometimes, if your employer doesn’t resolve your grievance properly and it’s making your workplace intolerable for you, it can lead to a situation of constructive dismissal, because it’s impossible for you to continue working there. This is not fair. You could be entitled to compensation if this is the case. We can give you clear advice on what to do if your employer hasn’t resolved a grievance or employment issue in a fair and reasonable way.
Can you appeal against disciplinary procedures?
Generally speaking (as it depends on an individual’s circumstances), an employee may appeal against such disciplinary procedures if he/she believes that:
- The decision was wrong.
- Unfair procedures were used.
- The punishment is too harsh.
- New evidence has come to light.
There are other unforeseen circumstances. An employee cannot make an Employment Tribunal claim against a warning, or disciplinary procedures reached, although an employee could claim constructive dismissal if the conduct of his/her employer forces him/her to leave. There is also an alternative approach to this, which is to suggest mediation.
What are Disciplinary procedures?
Employers use disciplinary procedures to let employees know that their work or behaviour isn’t acceptable. This is a formal process that's supposed to be fair and clear to the employer and employee. But in practice, it doesn’t always work that way.
You can usually appeal against a disciplinary if you think your employer has made a wrong decision, if you’ve found out new information or if your employer has treated you unfairly. That includes imposing a punishment that’s too severe or using the wrong procedure. If your employer effectively forces you to leave unfairly, you could claim for constructive dismissal at an Employment Tribunal.
With warnings and disciplinaries, every case is different. Talk to our expert employment law team to understand clearly what your options are in your specific situation.
What are the various forms of discrimination?
Some kinds of discrimination are perfectly legal. For example, it is not illegal to discriminate against people who are overweight or who support a different football team to you. However oranges are not the only fruit. Discrimination on any of the following characteristics is illegal under the Equality Act 2010.
- Gender / Sex / Sexual orientation.