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What is a Settlement Agreement?

Discussion in 'Workplace dilemmas' started by Marshall, Dec 9, 2018.

  1. Marshall

    Marshall Star commenter

  2. grumpydogwoman

    grumpydogwoman Star commenter

    A settlement agreement is often referred to as a ‘severance’ or ‘redundancy agreement’ and previously a ‘compromise agreement’.

    In short, a settlement agreement is a legally binding contract that prohibits employees from suing their employer, usually after they have received a sum of money in return for agreeing not to bring certain claims against their employer.

    Once a settlement agreement has been signed an employee will no longer be able to make an employment tribunal claim or any other type of claim that has been listed in this agreement.

    For a settlement to be legally binding, an employee must receive independent legal advice.

    Requirements of a legally binding settlement agreement:

    • A settlement agreement must be in writing
    • It must relate to a particular proceeding(s) or complaint(s)
    • It must be signed by the employee
    • The employee must have received independent legal advice
    • The legal adviser must be identified and insured
    • The agreement must state that the requirements regulating the settlement agreement have been satisfied
    You have treated me so badly I think I have a case to take you to tribunal for bullying in the workplace/discrimination on the basis of my gender/not honouring my salary agreement etc etc.

    No! Don't do that. We can talk about this.

    I don't trust you. I've had enough.

    Don't be silly/Go on then!

    Alright, I will.

    Oh, er. Maybe there's another way.

    Cue involving the union and talks about leaving with an agreed reference and possibly a few months' salary to tide you over.
    JohnJCazorla, Mrsmumbles and Marshall like this.
  3. Marshall

    Marshall Star commenter

    Thanks - so confused and appreciate any help.
  4. FrankWolley

    FrankWolley Star commenter

    Can't add anything to post #2 EXCEPT to stress the importance of getting good legal advice (usually via one's Union). It often (I thought always) includes an agreed reference which the school will be obliged to use should you need one.

    Personally I wouldn't agree to one UNLESS I got quite a few months salary, plus (perhaps) some salary in lieu of notice (so you leave straight away, but get paid until the next resignation date.)
  5. Marshall

    Marshall Star commenter

    Thanks FW - just finding out all options.
    FrankWolley likes this.
  6. serenitypolly41

    serenitypolly41 Occasional commenter

    Can I just say something here please. On what grounds would a person qualify for an agreed reference? Does it have to be conducted face to face in a meeting?
    Marshall likes this.
  7. Marshall

    Marshall Star commenter

    post6 - I would like to know the same.
  8. FrankWolley

    FrankWolley Star commenter

    In my personal experience the agreed reference is formed through an exchange of emails from HT to the person getting the reference (either directly or through the Union rep) - nothing is agreed until both sides agree. No personal face to face meeting is needed.

    As for grounds, my understanding is that an agreed reference is normally part of the 'Settlement Agreement'.
  9. caterpillartobutterfly

    caterpillartobutterfly Star commenter

    @Marshall , it is heartbreaking that you need to ask these questions.

    You must contact your union and discuss it with them. They will tell you if it is in your best interests to go down this route or not and what you can expect. If you aren't a member, then am employment lawyer can sort this for you.

    A SA is offered by the employer and generally includes an agreed reference.
    However, your union may well make it known to HR that you will be open to the idea of a SA and start the process that way. If you and your school both believe you have an absolute need to part company and are willing to forego fighting it out in court, then a SA could well be the way to go.

    I wish you all the best...it hurts like hell, but you will get through it all and you can be ok again in the end.
  10. Marshall

    Marshall Star commenter

    Sooo much going on:(
    Lara mfl 05 likes this.
  11. serenitypolly41

    serenitypolly41 Occasional commenter

    I wish you all the best Marshall. If you ever need any advice we are here to help. It seems like a lot of people aren't having the best of times on here.
  12. ridleyrumpus

    ridleyrumpus Star commenter

    Lara mfl 05 likes this.
  13. Lara mfl 05

    Lara mfl 05 Star commenter

    Agreed and sorry to hear it may have come to this. Can I just say you'd need qualified advice as to whether this will be your best option, for you, long term. You will need your job once your home situation is resolved and unlike 'ordinary class teachers' a CA / SA may have different implications for someone in your position and also I do wonder if there isn't some 'discrimination' involved here? I remember GLsghost talking about how it could still be discrimination if there was an illness of a third party, so whatever you do don't let yourself be persuaded, just because it's easier for the School. You have the rest of your life and future career to think about.
  14. Marshall

    Marshall Star commenter

    I have my union involved but I am not convinced they have my best interests at heart. it's been a blur since last week and I am now starting to come around from it all. I really don't know where to turn.
    Lara mfl 05 likes this.
  15. Lara mfl 05

    Lara mfl 05 Star commenter

    This is where we miss certain posters who have a good working knowledge of the law.:(

    It is possible that the Union doesn't have your best interests at heart. They seem to be 'fielding' large numbers of cases and may just be looking for the cheapest option for them. I know someone who actually has been persuaded to go down the personal solicitor option and think you are entitled to half an hour's free advice from a solicitor, but you would need someone familiar with Schools.
    JohnJCazorla and Marshall like this.
  16. Sundaytrekker

    Sundaytrekker Star commenter

    Absolutely agree with this. Make sure you’re not being persuaded under the guise of trying to ‘help’ you to be with your husband. You need your career long term. Ask for OH to be involved to agree what reasonable adjustments should be made in your case. I only know of one head who came back to a peach of a job six months after a settlement. Most don’t.
  17. caterpillartobutterfly

    caterpillartobutterfly Star commenter

    Try the education support partnership and also speak to your GP about talking therapies in your area. Much as you may not need talking therapy as such, just talking about the problems in an introductory phonecall can help your brain start to make sense of whatever is happening. Also The Samaritans are great to just babble away to, when your head is fit to burst.
    Marshall and Lara mfl 05 like this.
  18. smurphy6

    smurphy6 Lead commenter

    Marshall I’m also sorry you are in this predicament. I have no knowledge of the areas you are asking about so won’t comment on them but I do want to send you my warmest wishes. I agree with Lara about you needing your job for after your home situation changes, take care, don’t let anyone rush you. God bless you.
    Lara mfl 05 and Marshall like this.
  19. Marshall

    Marshall Star commenter

    Thank you everyone for your kind thoughts. x
    Lara mfl 05 likes this.
  20. foxtail3

    foxtail3 Star commenter

    Do you have legal cover on your house insurance. That could be an avenue for support if you do.

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