Archives August 2022

Employer Advice On Settlement Agreement Negotiations

Professionally dealing with a bad work relationship that isn’t able to be resolved via mediation or other such means can be stressful.

Employment disputes are difficult for both employees and employers. Employees often have to give up the right to an income stream in order to receive a one-time payout of money. Settlement agreement solicitors in the UK can provide the necessary legal advice on such matters.

Understand beforehand

Settlement agreements are a legal arrangement. Making an agreement without looking at all of your other options may not be wise if you can deal with it yourself or if the issue doesn’t warrant it. Experts advise against settling conflicts with employees by giving them a settlement agreement.

It will damage your company’s reputation and good working relationships if you try to solve disputes with one-time deals. Make sure you also give it more time for the discussion process or your organisation’s in-house channels to work before satisfying the employee’s request.

Starting your negotiation

Settlement agreements are traditionally proposed by a employer. You will be able to make your position known first, which helps to avoid misunderstandings and make sure that you’re able to deliver on what’s been agreed upon. When you write your agreement, you should include how far you’re willing to go and how far you’re not.

When you’re preparing your initial settlement offer there are many factors to consider.

The financial impact the company may have to deal with should settlement agreements not be used.

Seeking advice from a lawyer

One way you can improve your settlement package is to make it stand out. The fact that the other party isn’t fully satisfied or thinks they have a worthwhile case should be an encouragement to do even more. It is difficult for organisations to agree on this type of issue, but if it does work for them too, it will save you time and money. To find out the amount you should offer, talk through your options with someone who might have experience in this kind of negotiation.

The process ACAS recommends

Once your first offer has been made, you can start talking about settling. We recommend first contacting Acas, as they could be able to help get negotiations going. If they can’t come up with an agreement then your next action might involve taking a case to the employment tribunal.

Consideration

Your response to your employee’s request for more time should be a firm offer, with no room for more negotiation. We should take the time to reach out to their current/close colleagues in the company during this waiting period.

Meeting

After submitting your offer to them, arrange a meeting with them and discuss it face to face. Before the meeting, you should make sure to note why an offer is being made and to anticipate any questions that may arise.

We recommend that the employee is allowed to bring a solicitor, a representative from your union or colleague to help them understand what they are going through.

Act objectively

Things are going to get emotional during negotiations so you should put your feelings away. Remember, no matter how angry you get, don’t let it stop you from being professional and negotiating in a constructive way. In light of the recent event, some employees might have also been adversely affected. As an employer, be mindful to offer emotional support and address any concerns they may have.

Approach your discussions with an open mind and the goal of coming to a beneficial agreement. This will help you to avoid confrontation, but also to arrive at a better arrangement in the future.

Understand the impact of the offer you’re making

The employee will probably be disappointed and become more stubborn after they have made their demands. Just stick to your offer, stay confident in it and you should be able to resolve the situation quickly by meeting a few of their demands.

The next time you’re trying to figure out the amount of compensation to offer, consider what the courts might rule. It will be assessed with any necessary tweaks for settlement agreements not being as expensive or risky as litigation. When you receive a counter-offer, evaluate it carefully. Think about the pros and cons before you make your decision by weighing your original points against theirs. Once you have done this then feel free to make a counter-offer to them

Negotiate the details

In order to be fair, it’s important to make sure all the necessary details, including payment method and deadlines, are included in the agreement.

However, if you’re looking to terminate the relationship, things don’t have to end on bad terms either.

Problems In The Workplace?

If you’re having problems in the workplace, the ideal solution is to speak to your next line of management or human resources. You can either try and speak to them informally, or raise a grievance (complaint).

If you are not satisfied with the result you can submit a written complaint by following the company’s grievance procedure.

If you’re not satisfied with the outcome of your grievance, the organisation has a duty to investigate it and provide you with a written outcome. If some or all of the findings are disputed we encourage you to formally appeal as necessary.

The initial task is to review your employer’s grievance policy and move on to obtaining advice from Acas.

A grievance is an official complaint drawn up under the Acas code, which you can submit at any time – even after you change job. It’s not clear how an employer should handle grievance submitted by employee that is no longer employed by the company.

There is a possibility you could be accused of discrimination if you do not specify an age. I would recommend that you do add the information about age, as this may not lead to a Tribunal Claim.

The individual trying to deal with your dispute should not of played a part in the situation you are raising a grievance for, so if you want this fixed it’s important that all relevant information is given.

Raise a complaint and take control of your situation. Get the answers you need to help you through what can be a difficult time.

Gather your information

What are you currently doing for your company, and what duration have you been employed by them. Share background information about why you are bringing up this specific issue. Include all of the specific information of any procedures that have already been followed.

Complaint facts

Providing all of the background information to inform your employer’s decision making process is critical and there’s a couple of ways you can do this. For example, you could break it down into individual complaints or submit a timeline. If it’s a heavily detailed issue, you’ll want to keep in mind that they may ask for more information or documentation.

Draft a letter but write it addressing in a way that it explains the details to somebody who has no prior knowledge of what you do at work. If you are required to seek legal advice or your case results in an Employment Tribunal, an Employment lawyer or judge will be able to better understand the situation.

Remember that you can elaborate on these points during a grievance hearing. For this reason, it is important to keep your letter concise but clear.

Be sure to mention any written documents that you have in support of your claim so that the police department can address it.

Summary

Please include an outline describing how you (the applicant) were specifically affected. Include specific details of any objectives that you hope to see from the complaint, such as a formal apology, a reimbursement of legal costs or disciplinary action.

The account that you provide helps the individual hearing your grievance to either make a decision or undertake further investigation to resolve it. When an issue is so serious that it leads to a formal grievance, it’s understandable if you feel emotional. You’ll need to let your feelings out and talk through how the grievance made you feel before the decision will be made.

It may be necessary to consult with external legal advisors. It is important that you act within a set timeframe. Legal claims can’t be brought after 3 months from the date of dismissal or the date of any alleged discrimination.

What is the definition of employment law?

Employment law is a term that covers all aspects of employment from wages, overtime and benefits to hiring, firing and more.

The term could be referring to contracts, employment laws or other ways of measuring fair working conditions.

Employment law is in place to make sure businesses and their employees are on the same page.

Ensuring compliance with relevant legislation is an important step in ensuring that both employees and employers have a fair process from start to finish.

Employment law helps to combat discrimination and promote equality at work.

Keeping up to date with employment law

Employment law is constantly changing, which can make it difficult for employers to stay in the know. Rather than being left in the dark about legal matters, subscribe to our blog and you’ll keep up to date with changes. We publish insightful posts that are helpful for those who are looking to improve their employment law knowledge.

Alternatively, you can speak to your HR team member(s), who should be able to provide you with information about the key laws you need to know.