Settlement Agreements

{For Employers}

We offer a national fixed fee settlement agreement service for businesses, with out-of-hours response times, free initial consultation, and telephone and email support as required. The service is aimed at businesses across the country who want an efficient, professional and safe conclusion of their agreement from a trusted specialist employment law firm. 

SETTLEMENT AGREEMENTS

Quick Response Form

Our fixed fee approach to legal costs. 

We act for a range of micro, small and medium-sized businesses, some of whom may be experienced in executive terminations but require additional advice and support, to those who have a limited HR function and require more in the way of guidance and hand-holding. In each case we use our considerable experience in the area to help you conclude an agreement that is cost-effective and watertight.

 

STANDARD

SAME-DAY SERVICE

Appropriate in cases where you require a legally compliant agreement or a review of the wording of your existing agreement, together with advice on how to structure the financial package and the mechanics of initiating the offer.

Fixed Fee

£350

ADVANCED

BUSINESS SUPPORT

Appropriate for a fast, agile approach to sensitive and/or senior executive terminations, including a fully worded agreement and HR support focusing on issues associated with protecting the business interests.

Fixed Fee

£500

PROFESSIONAL

TAILORED LEGAL AND HR SUPPORT

Appropriate in cases where we are instructed to provide tailored legal advice and support from drafting a detailed agreement right through to navigating a safe, cost-effective and commercial resolution. 

From:

£175 per hour

 

How we finalise a settlement agreement for employees. 

1:CONTACT

We ask for an electronic copy for initial perusal, arrange client set up and agree terms.

3:CONSULTATION

We identify the legal issues and take a commercial, pragmatic approach to the offer made.

5:AGREEMENT

We advise on the terms and effect of the amended draft agreement.

2:MEETING

We arrange a meeting with you in person or by telephone, normally within 48 hours.

4:NEGOTIATION

Subject to your instructions, we identify any need for the agreement to be amended.

6:COMPLETION

Signatures and exchange. We invoice the employer directly for their agreed legal costs.

Employers > Frequently Asked Questions. 

 

What level of contribution to legal costs should be included in the agreement?


Contributions across employment and geographic sectors typcially range between £250.00 plus VAT and £500.00 plus VAT, depending upon the level of seniority, complexity and settlement sums involved. It normally takes between one and two hours for the employee's adviser to finalise a settlement agreement. We typically advise micro or small business employers to make a contribution of £300.00 plus VAT to smooth the way towards an efficient, cost-effective conclusion. If the offer has already been agreed in principle, we would normally expect the agreement to be completed by the employee's adviser within the employer's contribution to legal costs. If more substantial amendments are required, including negotiation of a more attractive termination payment, the employee should normally be expected to meet those costs from their own pocket.




Should the business offer to make a contribution to the employee's legal costs?


We typically advise employers to limit the costs contribution to the minimum required for the agreement to be completed efficiently and effectively. For settlement agreements to be binding in law, it is a statutory requirement for all employees to take independent legal advice on the terms and effect of the agreement from a solicitor or barrister. The statutory requirement is limited to the employee obtaining advice on the terms and effect of the agreement only. The costs contribution does not extend to any earlier discussion or negotiation associated with the proposed termination arrangements or severance payments offered. To reach a contractually binding agreement, it is almost always in the employer's interest to make a limited contribution to the legal costs of that advice accordingly. It is advisable to inform the employee that the offer includes a sum to cover anticipated legal costs. If a draft agreement has already been prepared it should include a short clause in the body of the agreement setting out the agreed contribution.




How should the legal adviser's invoice be prepared?


The legal adviser should be directed to send an invoice for no more than the limit of the legal costs contribution directly to you in accordance with the relevant clause of the agreement - addressed to the employee but clearly marked payable by the employer.




How should the offer be communicated?


This aspect of the settlement process can be something of a minefield and requires careful handling. You may require redundancy advice or guidance about the impact of any existing or anticipated disciplinary meeting associated with performnace or conduct. While the circumstances may vary between employees, it is generally advisable to consider summarising the offer verbally in a meeting with the employee, which can lead to potentially valuable concessions or indications of the employee's position before he/she has taken legal advice. The main financial provisions of the offer should normally then be promptly summarised in writing and provided to the employee clearly marked "without prejudice and subject to contract", with a clear timescale for acceptance of the offer and a brief overview of the process of reaching agreement. The benefits of drawing up an early settlement agreement include a focus on the key issues important to the business and the liklihood of a swift resolution. We recommend advice at this stage, both in relation to the mechanics of the offer and how it can be safely approached with the particular employee concerned.




What is a Protected Conversation?


Employers may now have a Protected Conversation with an employee about proposed terms of termination of their employment in accordance with Section 111A of the Employment Rights Act 1996. This means that the offer made and any subsequent discussion about it may not be admissible as evidence in any subsequent unfair dismissal claim. If the employee is not minded to accept the offer, you may safely continue as if the offer had not been made. As the offer is protected, you may not refer to it in any future communications with your employee and you should advise the employee to refrain from doing the same. It is also advisiable to require the employee to keep the offer confidential and limit any discussion of it largely to their legal and/or immediate family.




How should the termination payments be calculated?


The correct application of income tax and national insurance contributions can make an offer more attractive to the employee and more cost-effective for the employer. The rules regarding the taxable status of elements of termination payments are not always clear in thie application in each individual case. Payments associated purely with the loss of employment, also known as "ex gratia payments" may be paid free of tax up to £30,000, while other payments for notice periods and holiday are likely to be taxable. As part of our fixed fee service we advise on which individual payments are properly taxable and which may be paid tax free. We have a settlement agreement calculator for redundancy paymenys, holiday pay, taxable termination payments for lower and higher rate tax payers and others to calculate the correct payment to make and to protect the business from exposure to tax from HMRC. The cost of drawing up a settlement agreement, formerly known as a compromise agreement, is included in the package.





 

Corday and Co is authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority under reference 558935. Andrew Workman is a Solicitor and Principal of the firm based at County House, St Mary's Street, Worcester WR1 1HB. VAT Registration Number 139 0170 31. To find out more, please click here.