Negotiation is a part of every single job nowadays. You start the negotiating process the moment you get to an interview and, contrary to what you might believe, you don’t even end this process until you actually end the employment. While some people might need to learn more about how to negotiate a salary, others could have a different type of an issue and need different kind of help.
In the simplest words possible, some people might need help when it comes to settlement agreements. As you most certainly know already, these agreements are designed to protect your soon-to-be-previous employer from any potential claims that you might want to make after being laid off for one reason or another. Disputes and redundancies are the most common reasons why these agreements are created in the first place.
If you have been offered an agreement like this by your employer, you might be tempted to sign it right away, simply because you will get a good lump sum of money in exchange. While there is absolutely nothing wrong in wanting to get the money, here is what you need to know. Signing the document before thinking anything through is often not a good move.
In different words, you need to be careful when it comes to these types of agreements. After all, they serve to help end the employment amicably and without you having the chance to file certain claims against your employer afterwards. That’s not exactly a bad thing, but it basically means that the employer might perhaps be ready to renegotiate the actual terms, which is why agreeing the moment you get the document might not be a good move.
There are some tips here that might help you make the right moves: https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/what-you-need-know-before-signing-settlement-agreement-helen-moore/
Now, I don’t want you to get me wrong here. I am certainly not saying that you should not sign these agreements, as they can very well be great for employees. What I am saying is that there definitely are certain things you need to know before making any final decisions and before putting your name on the document. If you keep reading, you will learn a bit more about those things you should know during this process, and you will, thus, end up being more equipped to understand these agreements and comprehend when you’re ready to sign them.
- You Can Be The One To Suggest It
Since these kinds of agreements are actually designed to sort of prevent employees from failing certain claims, people usually assume that employees are the only ones who can suggest them. This, however, is not true. In few words, workers who are about to have their contracts terminated can also suggest this option, and most companies will be ready to accept them, especially if there’s risk of getting sued for one thing or another. This is usually the easier way out for both parties, so there’s no reason why any of those parties couldn’t suggest it.
- Negotiating Is Always A Good Move
Regardless of who makes the suggestion, you, as the employee, have to know that negotiating is always a good move. I’ve mentioned this above and I’ll say it again. Don’t rush into signing the document the moment you get it, because there is a chance that you might be able to get a much better deal out of it all, if you simply take your time to think things through and renegotiate everything. In short, negotiating is a necessary part of this process.
- You Might Need A Solicitor
If you’re not very good at negotiating, then hiring a solicitor is the right thing to do. In fact, most people first try to do things alone until they realize that hiring solicitors for settlement agreements is a much smarter move, because those professionals will act in their best interests while using the extensive legal knowledge that they have. Since you probably don’t have such extensive legal knowledge, it is always a better move for you to work with these professionals instead of struggling to do something all on your own.
- Money Is Not The Only Thing You Can Get
We have made it clear that settlement agreements exist to protect the employer in a way, but that certainly does not mean that the employee won’t get anything out of it. Of course, there is the money, and I am sure that you’re already aware of the fact that you’ll be getting a lump sum this way. Is that, though, the only thing you can get out of the agreement, or are there some other things you can negotiate as well?
The good news is that money isn’t the only thing you can get. Sure, it might be the most significant thing for certain people, but the actual point is that you can negotiate some other terms as well. For instance, you can ask to be released of certain restrictive clauses that prevent you from working for a competitor, or you can agree to get an amazing reference that will help you land a new job. Anyway, your solicitor will know all of this and he or she will certainly negotiate the best terms for you.
- Always Take Your Time To Review The Document
As I have mentioned quite a few times, you might be tempted to sign the document the moment you get your hands on it. I understand the necessity for getting things over with, but this is not a smart move. Why would you hire employment lawyers (find out more) in the first place if not to have them help you review the document before signing it? So, take your time to go through everything with your solicitor.
- This Can Actually Save You Money
People are sometimes hesitant to sign these documents because they believe they could get more out of their employers by taking things to court. This, however, is usually a wrong assumption. Courts can be quite costly, and a settlement agreement can, thus, save you money. Of course, once again, your solicitor will be able to advise you on the right thing to do here.
Barry Lachey is a Professional Editor at Zobuz. Previously He has also worked for Moxly Sports and Network Resources “Joe Joe.” he is a graduate of the Kings College at the University of Thames Valley London. You can reach Barry via email or by phone.