Terminating Employment and Settlement Agreements

Faced with being in the unfortunate position of having to terminate the employment of an employee is difficult but sometimes unavoidable. To ensure your process is fair and legally compliant is important.  Taylor Law employment solicitors can help you to protect your business ensuring also your employees are treated fairly.

Things to Consider when dismissing an Employee 

Getting a dismissal wrong can cost time, money and damage your reputation. It’s important to get legal advice at an early stage.

When thinking about dismissing an employee, you need to be clear and concise and take into consideration how long they have worked for you.

Employees who have worked for you less than two years do not have the right to bring unfair dismissal claims

When the employee has worked for you for two years or more, you can only dismiss them fairly for the following reasons:

  • Conduct (inappropriate behaviour)
  • Capability (inability to do their job)
  • Redundancy
  • Statutory Illegality
  • Some other substantial reason (SOSR).  

You should also consider if there are any grounds for an employee to bring other types of claims against you. These could include breach of contract or discrimination claims

How to Avoid Unfair Or Wrongful Dismissal Claims

Taylor Law employment lawyers advise businesses of all sizes about both individual and collective dismissals, reducing the risk of expensive and time-consuming litigation.

Getting legal advice as soon as possible if you feel you need to dismiss an employee is essential as the procedure adopted before dismissal is very important. 

You can help prevent unfair dismissal claims by simply following the company’s policies and procedures.  You must ensure that all disciplinary hearings are conducted fairly, and that the employee is given the right to put their side of the story accompanied by a work colleague or trade union official.

If the employee is dismissed, he should be given the right to appeal to someone not previously involved in the dismissal, if at all possible. An instant dismissal with no procedural safeguards, will often lead to an unfair dismissal claim.

Your business is in safe hands with Taylor Law. 

No matter how big your or small your business is, we can help you. Our employment solicitors understand that no two dismissals are the same, so we’ll give you individual tailored advice.

Our qualified lawyers are available to help no matter where you are.  We will always give you transparent fees and keep you updated.

What Is A Settlement Agreement?

A settlement agreement is a formal written and legally binding contract between an employee and employer, where an employee accepts financial compensation in return for agreeing not to bring any claims against you.  It is often referred to as a ‘severance’ or ‘redundancy agreement’ and was previously known a ‘compromise agreement’. 

You can use a settlement agreement if you do not want to go through a full dismissal process, or you want to avoid possible risks for dismissing someone. 

 For a settlement to be legally binding:-

  • an employee must receive independent legal advice (the advisor must be covered by professional indemnity insurance)
  • The agreement must be in writing and signed by the employee
  • It must relate to “particular proceeding”
  • The agreement must state that the legal conditions regulating the settlement agreements are satisfied.

ACAS have issued a statutory Code of Practice on Settlement Agreements, is a useful link setting out how settlement agreements should be conducted and provides best practice advice on how pre-termination negotiations should be conducted.  The code is not binding, but employers would need to justify why they deemed it not necessary to adhere to it.

How can we help

At Taylor Law we are happy to provide both employers and employees with the immediate advice you need and guide you through the process.  Our team can help you write an agreement, check and existing one or negotiate any agreement terms.

Our qualified lawyers are available to help no matter where you are.  We will always give you transparent fees and keep you updated.

Call us free on 0330 0539147  or email enquiries@taylorlaw.co.uk and we will be happy to help.

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