Settlement Agreement Help & Advice
Edinburgh based Employment Solicitors
Being presented with a settlement agreement (formerly known as compromise agreements) by your employer can be unsettling and daunting. Though circumstances vary, you are most likely to receive a settlement agreement when your employer is suggesting bringing the employment to an end.
By law there is a legal requirement that a Solicitor reviews and explains the terms of the settlement agreement to you before you have to sign anything. So if you've been offered a settlement agreement by your employer we're happy to provide advice.
Turn around times are often tight for finalising settlement agreements and you may require legal support fast. We can almost always accommodate same-day appointments, including outside normal office hours.
We will explore any potential claims you may have (such as unfair dismissal, discrimination claims, a right to a redundancy payments, etc) and what you will be forgoing by signing the agreement.
We have a specialist team based in Edinburgh who can help you no matter where your employer is based. Our Edinburgh employment solicitors have been working hard to ensure clients understand their legal rights and remedies before signing up to settlement agreements or compromise agreements for over 15 years.
We have a number of Solicitors who are listed as 'Leaders' in the field by legal directories and accredited by the Law Society of Scotland as Employment Law specialists so you know your in safe hands.
We can provide sound practical advice in a sensitive and confidential manner. When making an important decision that affects you and your family, you need to know that you are in safe hands. Quality is at the heart of what we do.
Get in touch with our Edinburgh based team now for quick effective settlement agreement advice.
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Why use Harper Macleod to review your settlement agreement
Contact us on 0131 247 2534 or use the form below to send us your details for a chat about your settlement agreement.
- Complete transparency on fees: Most of the time employers will make a contribution to your legal cost (which will cover your fees) however if there is an additional cost we will always be upfront and transparent about our fees and would not do additional work without consulting you.
- Wherever you are based: Employment law is UK wide so we can advise in all settlement agreements whether your employer is based in Scotland or the rest of the UK.
- Near you: As well as Edinburgh we have four other offices across Scotland so you can come in to meet us at a location near you to discuss your settlement in person. We can also conduct meetings over the phone for you convenience.
- Quick appointments: From our Edinburgh office right next to Haymarket station we can accommodate quickly arranged appointments, including outside normal office hours. We will be able to work within your employers timescales.
- In safe hands: Dawn Robertson is a member of the Employment Lawyers Association and also the Law Society of Scotland Employment Law Group, so you know you are in safe hands.
- Your opinion counts: When making an important decision that affects you and your family, you need to know that you are in safe hands and that we will always listen to your needs.
10 things to consider when asked to sign a settlement agreement
Usually a payment will be made to the employee in exchange for giving up their employment rights. It is important that you understand the potential value of those rights (and the potential costs and risks of pursuing them).
If it is a redundancy situation, is the calculation correct? There is an online calculator available at https://www.gov.uk/calculate-employee-redundancy-pay
Is the employer paying a sum in lieu of notice or serving notice? What will be the tax treatment? Will the pay in lieu include a payment in lieu of benefits as well as salary?
Will any company car require to be returned immediately? If not, what will the insurance position be for any period of retention?
Settlement agreements usually contain confidentiality provisions restricting discussion about the terms of the agreement and sometimes also about the circumstances and existence of the agreement. In the lead up to a settlement agreement it can be helpful to be circumspect about whom you discuss your employment situation with. Professional advisers and spouses / civil partners are usually permitted under most agreements but if the employee has made wider disclosures, this can sometimes can cause difficulties.
When you are moving on from employment, it can be important to clarify what reference your employer will issue if asked. Most employers issue fairly brief factual references these days – but it can be useful to check the terms won’t be damaging and make sure the agreed reference is recorded in the settlement agreement.
It can be important to a departing employee how their departure is announced both internally and externally. Again settlement agreements can be used to give comfort that this will be done along agreed lines.
Are there any insurances that the employer might agree can be continued post termination? If so, remember to consider any tax liability.
It is common for the employer to make a contribution to the employee’s legal fees when entering a settlement agreement. It will be important to check with the solicitor whether this will cover the advice or whether there may be additional charges and how these will be arrived at.
Many employees have contracts of employment that restrict them from certain types of competitive activities for a period after the employment ends. Depending on the circumstances, entering a settlement agreement may give an opportunity to negotiate the removal of the restrictions.
If you've been offered a settlement agreement by your employer we're happy to provide advice. Turn around times are often tight for finalising settlement agreements and you may require legal support fast. We can almost always accommodate same-day appointments, including outside normal office hours.
To make sure you're getting a fair deal, please get in touch directly with our team on 0131 247 2534.
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