London:020 7247 7190 Manchester:0161 883 1255 Preston: 01772 369 450 Birmingham: 0121 663 1191

Same Day Settlement Agreement Solicitor in London/Manchester/Birmingham

I’m a specialist Settlement Agreement Solicitor with 30 years’ experience. I offer a ‘fixed fee’ service. Your employer pays for my advice. You can read my standard Settlement Agreement terms here

I’ve advised thousands of employees on Settlement Agreements from all sectors. Because I know the terms by heart, I can get to the point quickly and focus on what you hope to achieve… getting the agreement signed or making requests for changes. The fixed fee covers advice on the agreement and reasonable negotiations with your employer.

I normally advise by phone/Zoom but am happy to meet or visit sites where groups of employees are concerned.

If you’re an employer or an employee hoping to negotiate a Settlement Agreement, why not view my recent article?

  1. What do I need from you?

    All I need is:

    • A copy of the agreement
    • Your mobile number
    • The HR manager’s name and email
    • If possible, a brief summary of any claims you want to discuss

    I don’t need a copy of your passport/driving licence because I don’t hold any client money.

    It’s best to contact me on my mobile 07527 261926 – alternatively call 0207 247 7190

New Article > Settlement Agreements and Redundacy in Lockdown

View our Settlement Agreement Frequently Asked Questions below.

  1. What’s a Settlement Agreement?
  2. The big issues?
  3. Advantages of a Settlement Agreement?
  4. What’s in a Settlement Agreement?
  5. Do I have to accept the Settlement Agreement?
  6. Is the amount I’ve been offered fair?
  7. Pension contributions
  8. What happens if an agreement isn’t reached?

1.    What is a Settlement Agreement?

Settlement Agreements are just a contract to bring employment to an end amicably. Once you have signed an agreement you can’t bring a claim to the Employment Tribunal so the Law requires employees to have independent advice from a solicitor. The terms can look fairly complicated but they’re mainly common sense… For an enhanced payment you give up the right to go to tribunal and the parties agree steps for an orderly departure.

2.    The big issues

Most Settlement offers make good sense but if you may have a claim, and to help me negotiate, we’ll need to look at the value of it in real terms to you. But always think of the bigger picture.

  • Where do you want to be next?
  • What will you actually take home under the agreement/by way of a dispute?

If you want to discuss potential claims it would be helpful for you to think about:

  • What claims do you have? eg: unfair dismissal, discrimination… and whistleblowing
  • What are the key facts and dates?
  • How can you prove what happened?
  • How long will it take you to find another job?

Remember most claims need 2 years’ continuous employment (not discrimination or whistleblowing) and events need to be recent.

3.    Advantages of a Settlement Agreement

Normally a Settlement Agreement is preferable to a dispute. Here are some of the advantages:

  • No legal fees- if you use a lawyer at tribunal these must be deducted from any outcome by anything up to 33%
  • Tax efficiency- compensation payments (non-contractual) can be paid tax free up to £30,000
  • Reputation- with an agreed reference you can apply for jobs confidently. Settlements can also include protection from negative comments by either party and an agreed announcement
  • Looking for work- a dispute may get in the way of a new job opportunities
  • Litigation risk- there’s a risk you might lose at tribunal, for example on a point of evidence or law
  • Stress- tribunals are stressful …it can take over a year to get to a tribunal hearing and seeing faces you once saw as colleagues in litigation is unnerving

4.    What’s in a Settlement Agreement?

Settlement Agreements normally have standard clauses covering the following:

  • Notice- your employer must give you notice to end the contract. The amount is either confirmed in your contract or fixed by law (no less than 1 week’s pay for each year worked to a maximum of 12) Notice can either be worked out, served on ‘garden leave’ or paid in lieu (you go straightaway, paid ‘up front’)
  • Termination payment- the amount of any compensation payment, tax efficiency and the date for payment
  • Employee warranties- promises made by the employee such as being a ‘good leaver’
  • Confidentiality/Clients- the employer may want to protect its business interests. These have to be reasonable and normally no more than 6 months after leaving and are often already in the employee’s contract of employment
  • Benefits - healthcare, pension contributions, car allowance etc.
  • Handover and practical steps- returning property, passwords, deleting employer work from home computers
  • Tax indemnity- your employer won’t guarantee the tax free status of any payment so if HMRC take a different view, you’ll have to pay the outstanding tax

5.    Do I have to accept the Settlement Agreement?

You don’t have to sign the document but the key issue to consider is the net benefit of not signing compared with bringing a legal claim.

Call me on 07527 261 926 or 0207 247 7190 or complete my online contact form.

6.    Is the amount I’ve been offered fair?

Your agreement will probably refer to the basic entitlements at tribunal. These are:

A          Basic Award/Redundancy payment

This is calculated by reference to a week’s pay which is fixed at an upper amount. As of April 22, it is £571 for each year worked under the age of 41 and £856.50 for each year worked over age 41.

This award is capped at 20 weeks’ pay. The Basic Award is not taxable.

If you will be paid a Redundancy payment this is the same amount as the Basic Award so you will not get this again in any unfair dismissal claim.

B.         Notice

Notice is either set out in your contract of employment or statutory minimum of 1 week’s pay for each year worked up to a maximum of 12 weeks. Tax and NI are deducted.

C.         Compensation/Unfair Dismissal

This is mainly made of lost earnings, capped at 1 year’s pay with an upper limit of £93,878.

D.        Discrimination and ‘whistleblowing’ cases

In these cases, there is no upper limit on compensation for lost earnings and you can also claim compensation for ‘injury to feelings.’

For claims after April 2022 the bands are:

- lower band of £990 to £9,900 (less serious cases)

- middle band of £9,900 to £29,600 (cases that do not merit an award in the upper band)

- upper band of £29,600 to £49,300 (the most serious cases)

If you are thinking of claiming for ‘injury to feelings…’ please make sure I have relevant information. This tends to be medical evidence or information suggesting your employer has acted in a particularly bad way towards you. Examples include fictitious disciplinary procedures, collusion or a sustained discriminatory campaign over many months.

7.    Pension contributions

Payments made direct into pension schemes are separate from the £30,000 tax free exemption and not normally subject to tax though there are limits to the annual and lifetime allowances for contributions which you need to check with the pension provider. Where compensation is over £30,000 employees sometimes ask for some of it to be allocated as a tax efficient employer pension contribution.

8.    What happens if an agreement isn’t reached?

You may want to bring a claim. This must be done promptly and no later than 3 months of the termination date beginning with the ACAS process followed by a tribunal claim. These dates are strict so always take legal advice.

Contact our Settlement Agreement Solicitors London, Canary Wharf, Birmingham, Manchester

To contact a specialist Settlement Agreement Solicitor please complete my online contact form, call my mobile 07527 261 926 or the following landlines:

London: 02072477190            |           Manchester: 0161 883 1255

Birmingham: 0121 663 1191

Very professional service in reviewing a settlement agreement quickly and efficiently. - Gary S.
reviews

GT

Gordon was a great help! Very speedy response and excellent service provided.

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For help and advice on employment law, call us today 

London 020 7247 7190
Manchester 0161 883 1255
Birmingham 0121 663 1191

What our clients say about us

“...Throughout, you have explained what was needed in terms of statements, gathering of evidence and working with me to bring this to a conclusion. While one could never say this was a pleasure to have to go through, having trust in you and your team has empowered me to to take action and find closure on what was a life-changing event in my career. Your choice of Counsel undoubtedly was a winning move that enhanced my trust in the nuanced legal aspects of my case. Without that trust, cross-examination in Court would have been much more challenging, yet your belief in me and my case made a formidable team..."
David O, July 2019 View all our testimonials