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We are recognised by the recommendation website Three Best Rated as one of the top three employment law firms in Bristol.

Patch Law

Station Road Workshops
Station Road
Kingswood
Bristol
BS15 4PJ

Patch Law is a law firm authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority.

Settlement Agreements
for Employees

So your employer has offered you a settlement agreement ….

You may be leaving an organisation through your own choice, or perhaps you are being made redundant but have been offered an enhanced severance package.

Whatever the reasons for your departure, amicable or less so, many employers will require you to sign a Settlement Agreement (previously called a ‘Compromise Agreement’) in order to receive the severance payments they are offering.

Because Settlement Agreements involve you waiving your rights to pursue most legal claims against your employer now or in the future it is important to get expert legal advice at the earliest opportunity. For a settlement agreement to be legally binding, it’s a requirement that you receive independent legal advice on it.

We are specialist employment solicitors with extensive experience of advising employees on Settlement Agreements and well placed to provide you with clear and reliable advice on what you are being offered.

It is the norm for the employer to pay the costs for you to be legally advised on the Agreement, so it is worthwhile making sure you access the best quality specialist advice.


I found Gillian very knowledgeable, transparent and incredibly talented in identifying potential issues.
 Dealing with Gillian felt like a friend trying to genuinely help me rather than a solicitor undertaking a business case. Thank you, Gillian and team, for making the process seamless and rather painless.
Chief Technology Officer
London

Stay in control of costs

You decide how much input you need from us. Choose between the following 2 options, and it is also open to you to switch from (1) to (2) if circumstances change or it is clear from our review of the agreement that there are drafting problems with it and/or the payments are clearly inadequate:

1) Standard - no cost to you

If you only require the standard mandatory advice on the terms and effect of the agreement, we provide a COSTS GUARANTEE that we will not charge more than the employer’s contribution (provided this is no less than £250 + VAT).

 

2) Extended Advisory

If you would like more in-depth advice on your employment circumstances, and the fairness of the deal offered, you can be confident that our advice is backed by specialist expertise and years of experience in advising both employers and employees on settlement agreements. As well as advising you on the payments offered, we will be checking that you are adequately protected through a robust and fairly drafted agreement, highlighting any concerns and proposing drafting amendments where appropriate. Depending on the level of the employer’s contribution, and the complexity of your situation, this advice – or at least part of it - may be covered by the employer’s contribution. In all circumstances we will:

  • work swiftly and efficiently to minimise your costs …. and your anxiety
  • give you clear costs information so that you can make an informed decision about how much advice you require from us.

Should you accept the offer?

Even in the standard service, if you can provide us with a copy of your contract of employment and a recent payslip as well as the Settlement Agreement, we can help you check that payments such as notice pay, accrued holiday pay and statutory redundancy pay (if applicable) are correct.
In assessing your entitlements, we will consider other payments and benefits you receive on top of your basic salary, e.g. commission and bonuses, pension contributions, company car or car allowance, private medical insurance etc.

The compensation payment (sometimes called the Termination Payment or Ex Gratia Payment) is an additional sum (free of income tax and NIC deductions up to £30,000) paid to you in exchange for you giving up your rights to bring claims against your employer. Assessing whether this is reasonable is where our experience and expertise come into their own. Compensation payments range from little more than nominal to six figure sums. How much should be acceptable will depend on many variables such as:

  • The reason for the termination of your employment, e.g. redundancy, conduct, performance, sickness absence;
  • Your salary and seniority;
  • Your length of service and your record during that time;
  • The merits and value of any potential claims you may have against your employer;
  • Your (and your employer’s) appetite for risk.

We will take the time to talk you through your options to enable you to make the best decision for your way forward.

Case study

"Our client was happy with the settlement terms offered when they contacted us, and initially thought we only needed to ‘sign it off’. However, upon reviewing the document, we were quickly able to see that, although the compensation payment appeared reasonable, the company had overlooked other entitlements. Payment for unused holiday had been omitted and notice pay under-calculated: our client’s contract stated one month, but due to her 10 years’ service she was entitled to 10 weeks’ notice pay. We were also able to have a full and positive reference, drafted by our client, inserted into the agreement, meaning our client could rely on this being provided to any prospective employer."

Re-negotiating the deal

If you decide that you do not wish to accept the terms offered by your employer we have an excellent track record of acting on a client’s behalf to renegotiate the financial compensation and/or other termination arrangements. We will endeavour to keep your legal costs to a minimum and act as swiftly and efficiently as possible. We frequently succeed in obtaining an increase in the employer’s contribution to your costs, so as to minimise and sometimes eliminate costs payable by you.

What else – apart from the money?

The payments are of key importance of course, but there are other factors which are important to consider for inclusion in the agreement. Settlement Agreements need to state everything you wish to be able to rely on your employer doing or not doing – as other agreements made (whether contracts, emails or conversations) are very unlikely to be enforceable after the Settlement Agreement is signed.

There is no general legal requirement for an employer to provide an employee with a reference. With satisfactory references being a standard condition on recruitment to a new role, it is important to consider what you need from your former employer, and ensure agreed wording is included in the Settlement Agreement.

Other agreed wording which is also quite frequently included on the employee’s request are announcements to colleagues.

It is important to look forward to your likely next career move. Your old employer may include restrictive covenants in the draft agreement, either re-stating those in your contract of employment, or imposing new ones. We can advise you on the implications of these, their enforceability and renegotiate if necessary.

Making the first move

As well as advising employees on a settlement agreement proposed by their employer, we are also experienced in judging when and how to open negotiations, either directly on your behalf or advising you on initiating a ‘without prejudice’ conversation. This enables both parties to explore – off the record - an alternative to a contentious route.

Case study

"Having been side-lined for some time, our senior management employee client anticipated that he was likely to be selected for redundancy and sought advice from us at an early stage. It emerged from our focussed questions that our client had evidence of strong performance over a number of years. However, he was older than his peers and others were not being excluded from key work activities in the same way. We were able to advise him on how to deal with a line management meeting which became the beginning of an accelerated redundancy consultation process in which he was the only employee placed at risk of redundancy. Armed with our advice on the requirements on an employer to dismiss fairly for redundancy, our client was able to challenge it in many respects. Having assessed the merits and significant value of his potential claims, we then wrote to the employer on our client’s behalf which was the beginning of a successful negotiation resulting in a settlement agreement severance package for our client of more than £80,000."

A balanced view

When you are in a contentious situation, you don’t need a cheerleader. Our assessment of your case will be objective and realistic. We are also experienced in advising employers of all types and sizes on all aspects of employment law, including settlement agreements. This gives us a balanced perspective on your case – our experience of the tactics and priorities of ‘the other side’ can significantly strengthen your negotiating position.

You’re in safe hands

Advising on Settlement Agreements is the most common request we receive from employees. Our knowledge and experience enables us to navigate a document which may look complex and turgid to you, look for essential points, explain it to you clearly without legalese and provide you with clear advice and recommendations.


Thank you so much for your help, support and advice in this matter - I would not hesitate to recommend you very highly to anyone else who needed your professional expertise.
CEO
Bristol

Contact us

To have a no obligation conversation about your requirements and how we can help, please either call us on 0117 290 0905 or complete a Free Online Enquiry and we will soon be in touch with you.

Get in touch

If you need help with an employment law issue then please don't hesitate to contact us. An initial enquiry is free and without obligation.

Call us on 0117 290 0905 or fill out the form below and we will contact you within 24 hours.

When your form is submitted you will receive an automatic email from Patch Law confirming receipt.

Why choose us?

  • Expert and Practical Advice
    You Can Trust
  • Prompt and Friendly Service
  • Consistently Positive
    Client Feedback

Some of our Google reviews

review rating 5  Fantastic service from Gillian who advised and acted very quickly with a short timescale to deliver. Friendly approachable firm and I felt they had my best interests at heart. Would highly recommend.

thumb Ryan Barnett
7/16/2019

review rating 5  I engaged Patch Law upon the recommendation of a friend and am so glad I did! I found Gillian an absolute pleasure to work with; warm and approachable whilst being extremely knowledgeable and strategic in employment matters. Gillian’s advice and support helped me to navigate my way through a difficult situation I faced at work on returning from maternity leave to a very satisfactory end. Gillian is certainly someone you want on your side of the battlefield and I couldn’t recommend her highly enough.

thumb Jennifer Short
8/16/2019

review rating 5  I would highly recommend Gillian to anyone in need of employment advice. She offers a highly professional as well as caring service, listening sensitively to understand a person's individual circumstances and offering experienced and well-considered advice. She manages the process through very attentively which leaves you feeling that you are in very good hands. Her fees are very competitive and represent very good value for money.

thumb Helen England
10/23/2019

Settlement
Agreements
for
Employees

So your employer has offered you a settlement agreement ….

You may be leaving an organisation through your own choice, or perhaps you are being made redundant but have been offered an enhanced severance package.

Whatever the reasons for your departure, amicable or less so, many employers will require you to sign a Settlement Agreement (previously called a ‘Compromise Agreement’) in order to receive the severance payments they are offering.

Because Settlement Agreements involve you waiving your rights to pursue most legal claims against your employer now or in the future it is important to get expert legal advice at the earliest opportunity. For a settlement agreement to be legally binding, it’s a requirement that you receive independent legal advice on it.

We are specialist employment solicitors with extensive experience of advising employees on Settlement Agreements and well placed to provide you with clear and reliable advice on what you are being offered.

It is the norm for the employer to pay the costs for you to be legally advised on the Agreement, so it is worthwhile making sure you access the best quality specialist advice.


I found Gillian very knowledgeable, transparent and incredibly talented in identifying potential issues.
 Dealing with Gillian felt like a friend trying to genuinely help me rather than a solicitor undertaking a business case. Thank you, Gillian and team, for making the process seamless and rather painless.
Chief Technology Officer
London

Stay in control of costs

You decide how much input you need from us. Choose between the following 2 options, and it is also open to you to switch from (1) to (2) if circumstances change or it is clear from our review of the agreement that there are drafting problems with it and/or the payments are clearly inadequate:

1) Standard - no cost to you

If you only require the standard mandatory advice on the terms and effect of the agreement, we provide a COSTS GUARANTEE that we will not charge more than the employer’s contribution (provided this is no less than £250 + VAT).

2) Extended Advisory

If you would like more in-depth advice on your employment circumstances, and the fairness of the deal offered, you can be confident that our advice is backed by specialist expertise and years of experience in advising both employers and employees on settlement agreements. As well as advising you on the payments offered, we will be checking that you are adequately protected through a robust and fairly drafted agreement, highlighting any concerns and proposing drafting amendments where appropriate. Depending on the level of the employer’s contribution, and the complexity of your situation, this advice – or at least part of it - may be covered by the employer’s contribution. In all circumstances we will:

  • work swiftly and efficiently to minimise your costs …. and your anxiety
  • give you clear costs information so that you can make an informed decision about how much advice you require from us.

Should you accept the offer?

Even in the standard service, if you can provide us with a copy of your contract of employment and a recent payslip as well as the Settlement Agreement, we can help you check that payments such as notice pay, accrued holiday pay and statutory redundancy pay (if applicable) are correct.
In assessing your entitlements, we will consider other payments and benefits you receive on top of your basic salary, e.g. commission and bonuses, pension contributions, company car or car allowance, private medical insurance etc.

The compensation payment (sometimes called the Termination Payment or Ex Gratia Payment) is an additional sum (free of income tax and NIC deductions up to £30,000) paid to you in exchange for you giving up your rights to bring claims against your employer. Assessing whether this is reasonable is where our experience and expertise come into their own. Compensation payments range from little more than nominal to six figure sums. How much should be acceptable will depend on many variables such as:

  • The reason for the termination of your employment, e.g. redundancy, conduct, performance, sickness absence;
  • Your salary and seniority;
  • Your length of service and your record during that time;
  • The merits and value of any potential claims you may have against your employer;
  • Your (and your employer’s) appetite for risk.

We will take the time to talk you through your options to enable you to make the best decision for your way forward.

Case study

"Our client was happy with the settlement terms offered when they contacted us, and initially thought we only needed to ‘sign it off’. However, upon reviewing the document, we were quickly able to see that, although the compensation payment appeared reasonable, the company had overlooked other entitlements. Payment for unused holiday had been omitted and notice pay under-calculated: our client’s contract stated one month, but due to her 10 years’ service she was entitled to 10 weeks’ notice pay. We were also able to have a full and positive reference, drafted by our client, inserted into the agreement, meaning our client could rely on this being provided to any prospective employer."

Re-negotiating the deal

If you decide that you do not wish to accept the terms offered by your employer we have an excellent track record of acting on a client’s behalf to renegotiate the financial compensation and/or other termination arrangements. We will endeavour to keep your legal costs to a minimum and act as swiftly and efficiently as possible. We frequently succeed in obtaining an increase in the employer’s contribution to your costs, so as to minimise and sometimes eliminate costs payable by you.


What else – apart from the money?

The payments are of key importance of course, but there are other factors which are important to consider for inclusion in the agreement. Settlement Agreements need to state everything you wish to be able to rely on your employer doing or not doing – as other agreements made (whether contracts, emails or conversations) are very unlikely to be enforceable after the Settlement Agreement is signed.

There is no general legal requirement for an employer to provide an employee with a reference. With satisfactory references being a standard condition on recruitment to a new role, it is important to consider what you need from your former employer, and ensure agreed wording is included in the Settlement Agreement.

Other agreed wording which is also quite frequently included on the employee’s request are announcements to colleagues.

It is important to look forward to your likely next career move. Your old employer may include restrictive covenants in the draft agreement, either re-stating those in your contract of employment, or imposing new ones. We can advise you on the implications of these, their enforceability and renegotiate if necessary

Making the first move

As well as advising employees on a settlement agreement proposed by their employer, we are also experienced in judging when and how to open negotiations, either directly on your behalf or advising you on initiating a ‘without prejudice’ conversation. This enables both parties to explore – off the record - an alternative to a contentious route.

Case study

"Having been side-lined for some time, our senior management employee client anticipated that he was likely to be selected for redundancy and sought advice from us at an early stage. It emerged from our focussed questions that our client had evidence of strong performance over a number of years. However, he was older than his peers and others were not being excluded from key work activities in the same way. We were able to advise him on how to deal with a line management meeting which became the beginning of an accelerated redundancy consultation process in which he was the only employee placed at risk of redundancy. Armed with our advice on the requirements on an employer to dismiss fairly for redundancy, our client was able to challenge it in many respects. Having assessed the merits and significant value of his potential claims, we then wrote to the employer on our client’s behalf which was the beginning of a successful negotiation resulting in a settlement agreement severance package for our client of more than £80,000."

A balanced view

When you are in a contentious situation, you don’t need a cheerleader. Our assessment of your case will be objective and realistic. We are also experienced in advising employers of all types and sizes on all aspects of employment law, including settlement agreements. This gives us a balanced perspective on your case – our experience of the tactics and priorities of ‘the other side’ can significantly strengthen your negotiating position.

You’re in safe hands

Advising on Settlement Agreements is the most common request we receive from employees. Our knowledge and experience enables us to navigate a document which may look complex and turgid to you, look for essential points, explain it to you clearly without legalese and provide you with clear advice and recommendations.


Thank you so much for your help, support and advice in this matter - I would not hesitate to recommend you very highly to anyone else who needed your professional expertise.
CEO
Bristol

Contact us

For immediate employment law advice please either call us on 0117 290 0905 or complete a Free Online Enquiry and we will soon be in touch with you.

Get in touch

If you need help with an employment law issue then please don't hesitate to contact us. An initial enquiry is free and without obligation.

Call us on 0117 290 0905 or fill out the form below and we will contact you within 24 hours.

When your form is submitted you will receive an automatic email from Patch Law confirming receipt.

Why choose us?

  • Expert and Practical Advice
    You Can Trust
  • Prompt and Friendly Service
  • Consistently Positive
    Client Feedback