17th January 2023

New Year, New start – How a Settlement can provide a clean break

Article by Linda Wilson | News

We advise both employers and employees on employment law. As part of that role, we advise on and draft Settlement Agreements.

As the name suggest, these Agreements “settle” any potential disputes or claims between the parties and provide a clean break to allow both parties to move forward. Settlement Agreements can arise where there is a dispute or when it is simply the termination of employment by reason, for example, of redundancy.

Although ideally employers and employees should work together to resolve differences and grievances within the workplace, sometimes the differences between the parties are irreconcilable. A Settlement Agreement can therefore be an attractive route for both parties compared to potential litigation and/or associated reputational risk.

In order to prevent unscrupulous employers deceiving employees into signing away their employment law rights, most employment law claims cannot be waived without the employee receiving independent legal advice. This is documented via the Settlement Agreement.

A Settlement Agreement must include some basic required terms but can include most matters that the employee or employer wants covered. Usually, confidentiality and non-derogatory statement clauses are included as standard, but the Agreements can cover a whole host of other issues. These can range from dealing with property such as cars, mobile telephones to leases of property, and also restrictive covenants, handovers, or providing financial assistance for outplacement and counselling services.

Once the parties are in negotiation over a Settlement Agreement, we find that prompt, practical and down-to-earth advice helps to remove a lot of the stress from what can otherwise become a very toxic situation. Our experience shows that once parties have parted ways, there are often fresh opportunities and new horizons for both the individuals involved and the business.

If you or your business require any assistance with a Settlement Agreement, or other dispute resolution such as mediation, please do contact Linda Wilson on 01730 268211 to see how we can help.