The advice they give you is limited to the terms of the agreement – for example, you understand what you agree with. You won`t advise yourself if it`s a good deal or if you could have gotten a better result if you had gone to court. The settlement agreement should include a clear breakdown of the agreed payments and indicate whether any of them are to be paid to the worker tax-free. It is important that the worker has been advised by an independent lawyer (or another counsellor referred to in the Employment Rights Act 1996, z.B a duly certified trade union official). This advisor must be clearly stated in the written agreement and his or her advice must be covered by insurance. A very important point is that, for it to be valid and binding, the settlement agreement must meet a number of legal requirements, including the need to be in writing and to indicate the specific complaints that the agreement is being resolved. In order to support their implementation, Acas has established a Legal Code of Conduct for Transaction Agreements [360kb] that explains what a transaction agreement is and provides guidance for the new law regarding the confidentiality of concord negotiations. Your employer will usually pay for independent legal advice. Indeed, if you sign a settlement agreement without first seeking independent legal advice, you can always go to an employment court. The Acas helpline (0300 123 1100) can provide general advice on transaction agreements and what they can mean for your organizations` labour relations practices. The helpline cannot advise you whether or not to accept a transaction agreement.
For more information on transaction agreements, please contact Julie Davis here. Indeed, redundancy agreements are not legally valid, unless the worker has received independent legal advice on the contractual conditions. Employers often commit to paying a fee for these attorneys` fees. When employers and workers fail to reach an agreement, negotiations generally cannot be cited as evidence in a subsequent dismissal action. When settlement negotiations are conducted with a view to settling an existing dispute between the parties, they cannot be used as evidence of any kind of claim. If a transaction agreement is presented to you and you need a guide through this process, contact one of our eight labor lawyers who regularly advise employees on transaction agreements, or take a look at our “transaction agreement” page on our website. . . .