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COVID-19 – have you been offered a settlement agreement?

The Government’s launch of the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (“CJRS”), to enable employers to furlough workers rather than make mass lay-offs and redundancies has no doubt given employers breathing space and saved jobs. It is however, becoming clear that many companies will need to consider restructuring to survive this economic crisis.

In this regard, many companies may well be considering the option of a Settlement Agreement.  Settlement Agreements are beneficial in that they allow a clean break when the employment relationship is about to end.  An example of this could be in a redundancy situation where the employee will waive their right to bring a claim in return for an agreed sum of compensation from their employer.  It can be used instead of going through a fair redundancy process and the compensation being offered is more than the employee’s statutory redundancy payment and contractual rights.

Settlement Agreement may well be considered to:

  • Secure financial compensation for ill treatment at work without the employer having to face the uncertainty of an employment tribunal
  • Negotiate payment which is better than the statutory minimum pay eg. notice period, redundancy pay etc.
  • Agree non-financial payments such as an agreed reference, company car, private health insurance
  • Make the most tax efficient use of a compensation payment
  • Get legal closure to an employment dispute in the fastest time possible.

If a dispute arises between you and your employer, a Settlement Agreement is a possible solution to avoid the uncertainty, stress and time involved in bringing a case to the Employment Tribunal or Court.

How we can help:

Before entering into a Settlement Agreement, independent legal advice must be sought.  This is a legal requirement, not an option.  We have a wealth of experience in negotiating settlement agreements for employees to ensure you get the severance package you deserve.

Whilst there is no minimum time period in law to consider a settlement agreement, the ACAS Code of Practice recommends 10 calendar days for an employee to consider the proposed terms and to receive independent legal advice. 

We understand that termination of employment, especially in these uncertain times is extremely stressful.  Lisa Aitken, our employment specialist has a wealth of experience in negotiating Settlement Agreements and can provide support and guidance as to whether this is the right option for you and your circumstances. 

Please call Lisa on 07960 469988 or email for free initial advice.

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