Why do I need legal advice on a settlement agreement?

To be legally enforceable you must have received independent legal advice on the terms and effect upon you of those terms.  You have to receive this advice before signing the agreement.

What are the legal costs?

An employer normally pays a contribution towards an employee’s legal fees for obtaining advice on the terms and effect on you of the agreement. This contribution is normally around £350 – £500 plus VAT.

Can I negotiate the agreement?

Yes. You may want to do this before seeking legal advice on the agreement or we can help you with negotiations.

Do you have to sign the agreement?

No, they are entirely voluntary. You have a choice whether to enter into the settlement agreement or not. You should be given a reasonable period to consider the terms offered and take legal advice. What is reasonable depends on the circumstances. Acas do recommend a minimum of 10 calendar days (a specific requirement for pre-termination negotiations under s111A Employment Rights Act 1996), unless agreed otherwise.

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