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I am often approached by employees who have received a Settlement Agreement from their employer indicating that “all I need is a signature from you and then I get my payment”.
Unfortunately, when executing a Settlement Agreement as a lawyer it is not quite a simple as providing a piece of paper to say that you have read the agreement and explained it to the employee. In fact there is quite a bit more to it than that.
For a lawyer to properly advise an employee on whether they should sign away what could be substantial claims against an employer, it is necessary to do the following:-
The contents and wording of a reference is an example of an issue which frequently arises. An employee seeking a new job on the labour market will want a good reference and this can be negotiated into the agreement
Bear in mind the reason a lawyer is being asked to sign a certificate saying they are insured and they have explained the Settlement Agreement to the employee, is to remove the liability for claims from the employer to the advising lawyer. If an advising lawyer effectively allows a client to sign a badly Settlement Agreement they (the lawyer) become liable to the employee. Time and care must be taken.
It is , as I hope I have explained, much more than a five minute conversation and providing a signature.
If I can assist helping people with Settlement Agreements I am more than happy to do so. Please contact me on telephone 01295 661 487
Mobile 07972 494945
Rubi Rai is a senior associate at Brethertons and works exclusively in the employment law team.