A number of well-known companies and businesses have announced that they are considering large scale redundancies as the uncertainty surrounding coronavirus continues. Some companies may also consider voluntary redundancies. For example, it has been reported in the news that Heathrow Airport has announced that they are going to commence a voluntary redundancy scheme.
If you are an employee and have been offered voluntary redundancy, by accepting the offer, you will be volunteering to have your employment terminated due to redundancy. In these circumstances, it is likely your employer will be offering you an enhanced redundancy payment i.e. more than your statutory entitlement as an incentive to accept the voluntary redundancy.
If I accept voluntary redundancy, will I have to sign an Agreement?
If you decide to accept voluntary redundancy and will be receiving an enhanced redundancy payment, it is likely your employer will ask you to sign a Settlement Agreement.
What is a Settlement Agreement?
A Settlement Agreement is a legal binding document that usually includes an enhanced redundancy payment. The enhanced payment is offered in return for the employee agreeing not to pursue any claims against their employer.
Can I just sign the Settlement Agreement without obtaining legal advice?
No, for a Settlement Agreement to be legally binding, an employee has to receive independent legal advice on the terms and effect of the Agreement. The legal adviser must sign an Adviser’s Certificate to confirm that advice has been given.
How can we help?
We are currently offering telephone or video meetings to advise clients in relation to Settlement Agreements and redundancy.
If you have received a Settlement Agreement, employers will normally contribute towards the legal costs of obtaining legal advice in relation to the Settlement Agreements, the amount they will contribute should be confirmed in the Settlement Agreement.