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Have you been offered a Settlement Agreement? What you need to consider before signing.

16th July 2020 by Robin Watson

Categories: Covid-19, Employment News
Tags: , , ,

Back in March, the Government introduced the concept of furlough leave under the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, to support employees who may otherwise likely be made redundant, in an attempt to avoid large scale unemployment. Many employers have opted to furlough their staff, but the reality is that some have had to make the difficult decision to make staff redundant or offer them settlement agreements.

What is a Settlement Agreement?

Settlement agreements are used to record what an employer and employee have agreed about the ending of employment. They are common, but every employee will have different needs and concerns.

If you have been offered a settlement agreement here are Laceys top 5 points you should consider before signing;

  • Could the wording of a reference cause you problems when applying for a new job?
  • What is it that is said to be ‘confidential’ and is this fair and possible to agree to?
  • Are you restricted in who you can work for and where – should you agree?
  • Are you agreeing to do anything which is outside your control?
  • Are any of the clauses uncertain or the consequences potentially unknown?

Why do I need to seek Independent legal advice if I have been offered a Settlement Agreement?

The law requires an employee to receive Independent legal advice on a settlement agreement before agreeing to the terms due to the significant rights that the employee will be giving up by agreeing to a settlement agreement.

In addition, the current job market is extremely insecure and unlikely to stabilise in the near future, so you need to make sure you are making informed choices for the best outcome.

What will I have to pay?

It is expected that an employer will contribute to the costs of an employee receiving legal advice on a settlement agreement. Employers vary in the amount that they will pay.

Laceys will be clear from the start about costs and whether or not the employer’s contribution will cover our costs. If not, we will help you make a decision and what options you have.

If you would like further advice on a settlement agreement please contact Robin Watson in confidence on 01202 755204 or email

Robin Watson

Partner — Employment and Immigration

Direct dial: 01202 755202


“Cocowai is a wholesale and online retail cashmere company. We recently contacted Robin Watson at Laceys Solicitors to help and advise us with producing an employment contract, and subsequently for advice on other employment issues. Robin has been extremely helpful and efficient throughout the whole - from our initial meeting, through to further telephone conversations and subsequent emails. I have been impressed by Robin's consideration of our "type" and "size" of company, whilst advising on what kind of contract we needed for our business. ”

Frances Macaulay, COCOWAI

Robin studied law at the University of Southampton before achieving Distinction in a postgraduate law diploma at Bournemouth University in 2011 and being awarded the Dorset Magistrates’ Association Excellence in Advocacy Award.

Robin qualified as a solicitor with Laceys in 2011, and is now one of Laceys partners, specialising in employment law advising employers, HR Directors and managers on all aspects of complex employment law and day-to-day HR issues.

In addition, Robin completed a demanding course and examination process and qualified as a Solicitor-Advocate early on in his career. This entitles Robin to appear in all civil courts and enhances the service he can provide to clients.

Robin is able to bring his previous experience in management outside of the law and also, understands the real demands and issues involved in HR. Robin takes responsibility for the HR of Laceys which includes circa. 100 employees and so has experienced what it is really like to deal with frontline HR issues and his clients genuinely benefit from that. It enables Robin to give practical and clear advice based on real experience, as well as utilising his legal knowledge and experience.

Robin has advised and represented a national hotel and restaurant group concerning multiple redundancies and general ongoing employment law/HR support and also recently advised and represented a financial services organisation in a High Court contractual dispute.

Robin has previously advised a local charity regarding potential pay claims and represented a senior charity executive.

As part of his service Robin likes to provide training to his clients and their HR teams.

Away from work Robin enjoys cycling, cooking and eating. Lately, Robin has (again) started sketching and is trying to convince himself that he has a talent!

To find out more about Robin becoming Partner and why he chose to specialise in Employment law click here;

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