Our employment team was recently instructed to assist a manufacturing business with the closure of one of their factories affecting some 90 employees.
Staff were offered the opportunity to transfer to another of the business’ sites, or alternatively enhanced redundancy terms which were offered via a settlement agreement.
Employees are required to obtain legal advice from a solicitor on the terms of their settlement agreement, following which, the agreement will prevent them from bringing any claims in an employment tribunal against their ex-employer. It is customary for the employer to contribute towards the legal fees for this advice.
The business engaged our employment team to attend their site for a number of days in order to advise staff and sign off settlement agreements for those who wished to proceed with the offer of an enhanced redundancy payment. Employees are free to choose their own law firm, but the majority of employees took up the offer of using our services. This was a cost-effective way for the business to ensure that the legal advice requirement was completed over a few days. It streamlined the process, and avoided all of the employees going off to seek advice on an individual basis which would have likely taken more time, and potentially meant that the business would have had to deal with multiple queries and process invoices from lots of different law firms.
In this scenario, our clients were the individual employees, rather than the business itself, but we are equally happy to provide advice to employers.
If you are contemplating a restructure or redundancies and would like advice on the process or help with settlement agreements, please call 01689 887 887.