Are you and your employer discussing a settlement agreement? If you are looking for assistance and someone to talk to during these settlement agreement discussions and later negotiations, this section is for you.
Before you have your settlement agreement in hand, you may be asked to attend a meeting with your employer to discuss your settlement agreement. You don’t have to attend these meetings alone and you may want to have an adviser to assist you in the meeting. Typically, as per the ACAS Settlement Agreement Guide, an employer should allow the employee to attend the settlement agreement discussions with a work colleague, a trade union representative, or a trade union official. But your employer is not obligated to allow others to these meetings.
An employment solicitor typically does not come to these meetings because they are not paid for their attendance. Employers can also become alarmed and defensive if a solicitor is introduced in these informal discussions. The Law Clinic representative is the perfect companion to these meetings. Because we’re not a firm of solicitors or barristers, your employer won’t be defensive in what he says. When it becomes apparent that we’re there to facilitate discussion and help, the meetings are extremely productive.
While the employer isn’t required to allow you a companion to the settlement agreement discussions, if the circumstances surrounding your employment illustrate such accommodations as reasonable, the your court claim can be strengthened. This is true especially if you are disabled. Imagine Suzy, a employee with anxiety and depression; her employer will not allow Suzy to have a co-worker or friend present for the settlement agreement discussions. It is possible to argue that Suzy’s employer has discriminated against her by not accommodating her disability. While Suzy has time to negotiate the particulars of her settlement agreement after it is drafted, she is missing out on the benefits these discussions can have.
These meetings are very valuable if your employment situation, and the situation surrounding the settlement agreement, are unique. A settling employee will typically terminate their professional relationship with their employer after agreeing to a settlement agreement. If you wish to continue your employment with your employer, the settlement agreement discussions are the perfect time to discuss continued employment after the settlement agreement.