Should I seek legal advice before signing a settlement agreement? Employment Contracts

If you are an employee who has been offered a settlement agreement by their employer, you may be wondering whether you should seek legal advice before signing it. If that is the case, in this article we will explore certain conditions of a settlement agreement and why it is important to seek advice from an employment professional prior to acceptance.

Seeking Advice on Settlement Agreements

According to section 203 of the Employment Rights Act 1996, one of the conditions for a legally binding settlement agreement is:

“The employee must have received advice from a relevant independent adviser on the terms and effect of the proposed agreement and its effect on the employee’s ability to pursue that complaint or proceeding before an employment tribunal.”

Therefore, yes, you should seek independent advice before signing a settlement agreement. If you don’t receive independent legal advice, then the settlement agreement is not legally effective. For this reason, an employer will usually pay for, or contribute towards the cost of legal advice.

Help and support from Beswicks Legal

If you wish to seek professional advice on settlement agreements, either as an employer or an employee, please contact us. Our employment law specialists are on hand to clarify your position and outline your options to help you make an informed decision.

For more frequently asked questions regarding settlement agreements and redundancy, take a look at our dedicated Legal Hub or get in touch with our team.