Hi there, I am Sophie. This might be the first time you have ever heard the word 'settlement agreement' in your employment history. You might have heard compromise agreement, but that's an even older term. And settlement agreement was created by legislation in 2014, where you can as like employer legitimately ask an employee if they want to mutually end their employment for a sum of money for an exchange. For a sum of money and an agreement that just signed for that sign of money by the employee saying we will not take you to an employment tribunal. So if you're an employee that has had without prejudice or off the record meeting, you're potentially confused and thinking, I've never heard about this before. And that's what's hopefully brought you to here. And I'm hopefully giving you some help and advice.
And often the money is, wow..., that's a great sum what can I do pay off the credit card, or I could pay off the car, the loan that will give us a wee holiday. Maybe not so much this time when we're sitting in autumn 2020, and Covid is raging through the country. And we are probably being a bit more frugal with our cash. But anyway, that money is depending on the sum of money could be massive attraction. But it would also mean that you are losing your job. And it would also mean that you are not going to get any further money, or any further compensation, in the event your employer has aired significantly and your employment relationship.
And you might then have a really difficult decision to make at that point whether to take the money that's on the table right now through the settlement agreement. Or if you're prepared to fight a bit longer, or even be prepared to stay in your job, which is your right to do. But normally, the settlement then progresses once you've done your consultation with your solicitor. And they've informed you of your rights. Informed you what that legal agreement says that you will sign that agreement. The solicitor will send it back to your employer. They will sign it, and send you a document. And normally as part of the settlement agreement, the sum of money is articulated, or when it will be sent to you, and it might be in your last pay.
However, your employer in a settlement agreement, if you were to proceed your employer will pay you to go to a lawyer. They will normally give you a cap sum of money to take independent legal advice. And they will send you that settlement agreement we'll send, or they'll send it to the solicitor that you've nominated. And your solicitor should be going through it with you, and saying; 'Okay, so tell me about the circumstances of why this is here." It's really important in that point to be really clear about what's got you to this situation. And for you, it might be nothing. It might be just it's the way that the employer does it, or it might be something a bit more insidious, in which case be really open and honest with the representative of your solicitor, and will actually say what happened when I was pregnant, this happened and then after I got back to work, they did this. And your employment solicitor might say; well, okay, that's pretty unlawful treatment that you've suffered. So you would have a good claim. And actually they're only offering this amount of money to sign off.
And hopefully, with a good solicitor, they will really help you make that decision, and obviously lead on family and friends. If this has been an ongoing journey for you. You're stressed and really anxious about even going to work. It might be a good opportunity, if you don't feel strong enough to fight, and go along with an employment tribunal because they are not easy either. But, it might be the right thing also. I hope this has given you some insight into what a settlement agreement will look like. There is statutory legislation obviously that relates to all of this.
So, the settlement agreement is really a fairly straightforward exchange if you wish to proceed. But ordinarily, it's where you actually probably have a valid claim, or your employer is trying to short circuit employment law. So, it could be that you have risk agreements, or you are pregnant, or something along those lines whereby there's a dispute, and your employer has kind of said; "well, you know we're never going to reach an agreement here". They're not happy, we are not happy. Let's give us some money for them to go, and see if they'll take that money. So that's a big consideration for you.
So it's often worthwhile, you know, considering or trying to understand the cost of any claim that you're signing or signing away from. For example; if you feel you have been discriminated against, you've worked there for 10 years and there's quite high chance that you would be entitled to a good sum of money. And if you were to win an employment tribunal claim, it's worth trying to understand what the kind of sum of money might be in those instances.
But, be in mind to be straightforward with your solicitor if you have your contract of employment hand. Make sure that your contractual notices is adhered to in the settlement. And the money is good to your holiday pay, if you have a company car. All of these kinds of things. Make sure you thoroughly explore with your solicitor. All of these aspects of what a settlement agreement might look like to you, and be just really open about your situation and circumstances.