Settlement agreements are legally binding documents and have been incorporated into the Employment Rights Act (1996). Due to the coronavirus crisis, many employers are taking their employees on leave to avoid layoffs. However, if layoffs become unavoidable, an employer can offer a settlement agreement, even if they take time off during their vacation. Our advice in such a scenario would be to settle for an out-of-court settlement agreement with 3 months of tax-free money. However, the employee may prefer to accept the settlement agreement as it usually includes an offer to pay more money than they would receive if their employment relationship were terminated after a standard termination procedure. In our experience, many public sector organizations have a policy of not negotiating with employees, and if you work in such a public sector organization, your chances of getting a transaction agreement are negligible. If you have obtained a settlement agreement, you must have it reported by an independent lawyer and your employer will pay to accept this advice. Indeed, being presented with a compromise agreement can be a good thing. Not only is it certain that payment will be made within an agreed time frame, but the agreement should also confirm that the first £30,000 can be paid without deduction.
They also have the option to add proof of work to the agreement with clauses preventing one of the parties from misinterpreting the other. This is very useful if an employee may have moved under a cloud and wants to maintain their future reputation. There is also no legal minimum payment under a transaction agreement. However, you would not receive compensation through a settlement agreement unless the payment to you exceeded the costs of legal advice, document drafting and other legal requirements related to entering into a settlement agreement. In general, the tax status of a payment you receive does not depend on whether or not a transaction agreement is signed. Some payments are taxable. Others are not. Signing a transaction agreement will not change that.
It is customary for a settlement agreement to be concluded shortly before or after the termination of an employee`s employment contract. These agreements are sometimes used when redundancies are made, but they can be used in a number of situations. Ellis Jones has extensive experience advising employees on transaction agreements. Our labour lawyers understand that you want an appointment quickly and we can see you in any of our offices (Bournemouth, Canford Cliffs, Wimborne, Ringwood, Swanage or London), see you at home or explain the agreement by phone, whichever is best for you. We also understand that you would like us to cut the jargon contained in the agreement and declare the agreement in simple English. We appreciate that you want to be sure that the agreement protects you and the employer. While compromise agreements can be written in very legalistic language and can refer to sections of laws and regulations that you may never have heard of, most will follow a regular pattern. As long as the severance pay you receive is properly reflected in the agreement and there are no abnormally harsh conditions such as limiting your pension or bodily injury, don`t worry too much. However, if the conciliation agreement is reached after the dismissal counsel, the number proposed is usually slightly higher than the legal minimum amount of severance pay. In these cases, it`s often worth negotiating, as your employer has shown their hand in wanting to have the protection of a settlement agreement, which should be worth more than a small amount more than the legal minimum.
If you agree to a settlement agreement instead of a layoff, you usually get more money….