(MENAFN Press) (Newswire.net -- February 11, 2013) Milton Keynes, Buckinghamshire, UK --
According to recent statistics release by EMW, redundancy payments soared in 2012 to a record 4.9 billion, driven largely by an increase in the number of lay-offs in the public sector.So with continuing job losses anticipated for 2013, in both the private and public sectors, what can employees do to ensure that they receive fair treatment and achieve the best deal possible in the face of possible termination of employment and a request by an employer that they sign a compromise agreement or settlement agreement?If you are a member of a trade union or have an employee representative in your workplace, then this ought be your first port of call.
Your union or employee representative should be well versed and be in a good position to give your some guidance on the correct procedures for termination of employment and other employment rights.As you would imagine, every case of termination of employment is different and what one can expect to reasonably achieve in a negotiated settlement will vary significantly. Factors that have a significant bearing on an employment settlement are such things as an employee's level of seniority in the employer's organisation, gross pay, an employee's contractual benefits, how long they have worked for the employer and the circumstances to that give rise to the termination of employment.
Naturally, if an employee has generous contractual benefits including rights to bonus pay, make sure that these are all taken into account when negotiating a final settlement. Often an employee's contractual entitlements can far exceed what the law prescribes as a minimum payout on termination. So what if an employer is only prepared to offer an employee the minimum contractual and or statutory payout on termination of employment?If an employee is not happy with the deal presented, the employee will need to consider whether there are other factors can be brought into the equation to negotiate a better deal?For example, an employee may have a long standing but improperly addressed grievance. Rather than deal with the problem some employers prefer to take the easy option and have a "without prejudice" discussion to float the idea of a mutually agreed end to the contract with a financial package.
This is normally accompanied by a compromise or settlement agreement. When a settlement or compromise agreement is offered to an employee, often there is some wriggle room to seek an enhanced package. But again this very much depends on the circumstances.It should be borne in mind that an employee is not legally obliged to sign a compromise agreement, especially if all that the employer is offering is a basic contractual and or statutory minimum pay settlement.
Often however, as a sweetener to get an employee to sign an agreement, an employer will include an enhanced package over and above what an employee is contractually or statutorily entitled to. The enhanced package however, normally then becomes conditional on the employee signing the settlement agreement.
Employees that have the strongest negotiating position usually have some basis for arguing that the employer is not acting fairly, perhaps is in breach of employment regulations, or failing to follow correct statutory or contractual procedures.If an employee suspects that the employer is not following the strict letter of the law in, for example, rushing through redundancy procedures, failing in the duty to mitigate job losses, or failing to consider alternative suitable positions for at risk employees, in such circumstances, it is best to seek specialist employment law advice or the services of a specialist employment compromise agreement solicitor.
A specialist will be able to give more specific advice, guidance and assistance on what sort of settlement package an employee can reasonably expect to negotiate and what options are available to an employee, before finally committing to the terms of a compromise agreement.