What are settlement agreements? 

A settlement agreement is a special kind of contract between an employee and an employer. It’s an exception to the general rule that a person cannot give up his or her rights to make a claim in an employment tribunal or a court. 
An agreement is a sensible way of resolving a dispute but any attempt to do this without following the rules on settlement agreements won’t work and the arrangement will be unenforceable. A good reason why you should seek legal advice early. 
 
Settlement agreements are normally used: 
 
to end a disagreement between an employer and an employee at the end of employment or 
to end a negotiated compromise about how and on what basis an employee will leave. 
 
Occasionally they are used where employment continues. 
 
Settlement agreements are becoming increasingly common in cases of redundancy. They are also used in many kinds of cases where employment law issues arise such as unfair dismissal or discrimination claims. 
 
The purpose of a settlement agreement is to record how the terms of employment will end or a dispute will be resolved. Those terms are usually that the employer will pay a sum of money in return for the employee giving up rights to make the employment-related claims set out in the agreement.  
 
In summary, the rules on settlement agreements are: 
 
The settlement agreement must be in writing and in a specified format. 
The settlement agreement must contain certain information stipulated by law. 
An employee must receive advice on the meaning and effect of the settlement agreement by someone qualified to do so such as Spencer Shaw Solicitors. That advice must include the effect of the settlement agreement on an employee’s ability to make a claim to an employment tribunal. The cost of this advice is often covered by the employer. 
 
 
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