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Leaving your job – getting the right settlement agreement

A settlement agreement is a legally binding way to bring an employment relationship to an end.  It’s a no-risk method of achieving a clean break on agreed terms.

Entirely voluntary, the aim is to avoid ending up at an Employment Tribunal.  You may be offered one whether you are leaving on amicable terms, or have already left, or have issued a grievance or claim against your employer.

Key facts:

  • A settlement agreement records your confirmation you will not pursue any employment-related claim against your employer;
  • You can use the agreement to negotiate things you want on your departure, for example an agreed reference;
  • You will need to take legal advice on the terms and effect of the agreement.  Your employer usually pays for your legal fees;
  • Receiving independent legal advice is a key part of the process, not only to safeguard your own interests but in order for any agreement to be considered legally valid.

Who can provide legal advice?

You can use a solicitor, a barrister, a trade union official or someone from an organisation like the Citizen’s Advice Bureau as long as they have been certified as competent to give the advice and have the relevant insurance.  We recommend that you choose a specialist employment law solicitor.

Get in touch

For further advice, please contact Specialist Employment Solicitor Matthew Warren on 0117 929 2811 or email matthew.warren@wards.uk.com.

Get in Touch

Request a call back

If you’d prefer us to call you back, just use the form below to give us your number and the best time to call. It would also be useful if you could give us some idea of what you’d like to discuss.


UPDATE October 2020

We have now re-opened our branches to clients but all appointments and visits must be pre-booked to comply with government guidance.

Availability for face-to- face meetings in branches will be limited and remote contact with teams – via phone, email or video call – is preferred wherever possible.  Our prime concern remains the safety of our clients and our staff.

Please note that all visitors to our offices must, by law, wear a face covering.

We cannot accept drop-in visits from clients without an appointment being made in advance. If you have documents for us, including for ID certification, please deliver them to our letterbox

How to get in touch:

  • Please email or telephone your usual lawyer or team, or
  • Please telephone the branch most convenient to you between 9am and 5:30pm, or email info@wards.uk.com at any time and we will respond to you as soon as possible.

We look forward to hearing from you.  A list of our 11 branches is available here.

Thank you.

Wards Solicitors LLP