How do I get a settlement agreement? | Blog | Paul Doran Law

Belfast Office
Building 10, Unit 14B
Central Park
Mallusk
County Antrim BT36 4FS

Leeds Office
West One
114 Wellington Street
Leeds
West Yorkshire
LS1 1BA

London Office
Kemp House
152 City Road
London EC1V 2NX

Newcastle Office
Gear House
Saltmeadows Road
Gateshead
Tyne and Wear NE8 3AH

Telephone: 0808 1687 288
Email: enquiries@pauldoranlaw.com

How do I get a settlement agreement?

Going to court or an employment tribunal is an expensive business, and most employers want to avoid it.

That’s why you hear of cases that are ‘settled on the court steps’.

When you make a claim against your employer, you may need to negotiate a settlement agreement (formerly called compromise agreements and still known by that name in Northern Ireland.)

This is where your employer offers you a sum of money in return for dropping the case and agreeing not to take them to court or a tribunal over the matter.

You are not obliged to accept their first offer, so you need to be prepared to enter into negotiations with them. This isn’t always easy.

You have the right to do your own negotiating. This approach may be appropriate if you have a good working relationship with your employer, and they are offering a settlement that is more generous than the law allows.

If the working relationship has broken down, or your employer is acting unreasonably, the help of a specialist employment law solicitor is invaluable. (Our contact details are shown below and top right, hint, hint!)

Note that a settlement agreement is only legally binding when you have taken the advice of an independent adviser such as a solicitor or trade union representative.

Negotiation tips

Negotiation is not for the fainthearted.

Your employer – or perhaps, their lawyers – will try to screw you down to the minimum you’ll accept. That’s their job.

Even if you feel unhappy about the situation or mistreatment you’ve experienced, it’s important to maintain the upper hand by keeping emotion out of it.

Be realistic. Multiply your chance of success by the amount you’d recover. For example, if you’ve got a 50% chance of recovering £10,000, a £5,000 settlement is reasonable. Start by asking for double so they can negotiate you down to half and feel as though they’ve done well.

Include outstanding holiday pay and any other payments you’re entitled to.

If you have been discriminated against, you may be entitled to additional compensation.

Remember that the first £30,000 is tax-free – this benefits your employer as well as you.

There is a strict three-month limit for tribunal claims, so don’t let your employer delay negotiations. Stick to any deadlines you suggest.

Read the small print. Don’t rush to accept an offer just because the process can be long drawn out and painful.

Remember, you are in control. You always have the choice to accept their offer, withdraw your counter-offer, or issue a tribunal claim.

Negotiation techniques

First steps

If you have not yet left your job, submit a written grievance and start your employer’s formal procedure. This shows them you are serious.

Whenever you have the right of appeal, use it. This shows them you are strong.

Think carefully about the timing of your resignation. It’s critical! We can advise on that.

Write a ‘without prejudice’ letter or arrange a meeting. We can help with that too.

Need help?

For a FREE assessment of your claim, call 0808 168 7288 or fill in the contact form on the top right of this page.

We have already helped thousands of people to win millions of pounds in compensation.

See what they say

You have a choice of ways to pay, including ‘no win, no fee’.

Browse funding options

We will also discuss the best methods of funding your case and seek to reach a solution that best suits your needs. This can involve a “no-win, no-fee” agreement if appropriate.

Back to all news

Share Article With:

Call us on
0808 1687288
or fill in this
Free Online Enquiry

(no cost or obligation)

We will only use the information you provide to handle your enquiry, and we will never share it with any third parties.

What Our Clients Say

I found all the staff to be knowledgeable and highly professional. Stephanie W

My experience has been a very professional one. The case ran smoothly from the get go. I was always kept in the loop. Dinah T

Up to date information. Easy to contact. Knowledgeable solicitor. No win without him. Audrey S

Very good. Always stayed within the timescales given. Sound advice, would recommend. Ken S

Efficient and helpful. Takes the claimant points into consideration. Angela R

Paul Doran Law has been extremely helpful and supportive in very difficult circumstances. I would highly recommend them as professionals to others and have a lot of faith in their advice. David R

Although a lengthy case I have been constantly updated throughout. Susan R

Paul answered me promptly, was very helpful and advised me what to do. Winifred P

Paul Doran was very helpful during my communication. Friendly and professional. Adrian M

Cormac is a very reassuring person, he made sure I was kept up to date as my case progressed and was always supportive when I got the jitters. He was very diligent and methodical whilst representing me. Iain M

Professional approach and positive attitude. Shirley M

Competent and efficient and very pleasant to deal with. Cloda McN

Cormac explained my options and talked me through each step and advised me of the best possible outcome. Gerard McL

Very helpful. Emma McA

Satisfied with service. Susan H

Very satisfied with the professional way case was handled. Evelyn H

Staff and solicitor very helpful at all times. Solicitor very knowledgeable and took my case and concerns seriously, and in a very professional manner. Deborah H

Friendly, efficient and very professional. Charlotte G

Very friendly and competent service. Peter G

My experience using Paul was very professional at all times. Kept me up to date at all times throughout the process. Blanche G

Very professional, friendly and efficient. Kept me informed throughout the process. Straight forward service which is exactly what I needed. Paula F

Good end result, Paul did a lot of work. Thank you. Lyn E

Felt at ease and was listened to; got excellent advice. Gemma D

Very professional and always willing to help and offer advice when needed on the situation. Lytreena D

Outstanding, friendly service from start to finish. Matthew C

Very professional and always left valued as a client. I feel that the company has worked very hard to get me a good result. Christine C

From day one there was a plan of action. I feel I was listened to and heard, after which the process was then easy. Kanta C

I would highly recommend. Karen B

Confident in representation. June B

Very happy with all aspects of my experience from initial contact to finish. Andrew B

Understanding and very prompt. Michelle W

Completely professional, and secured a settlement beyond my expectations. Cormac was exceptional – very many thanks. Joan W

Very happy with results. Very grateful for all Paul and his team have done for me. I feel valued as a client, my questions were always answered very quickly. Thank you. Anna V

Very good, professional. Amida S

Always responsive, courteous and supportive. Would recommend to friends and family without hesitation. David S

Easy and efficient and professional at all times. Stephanie R

Very good. Yusuf O

Excellent, efficient and prompt legal advice. Very satisfied with service provided. Lisa N

It took me a long time to find a solicitor who would support my case. I’m so glad I found Paul Doran Law who brought me success. Shirley N

I have had a very pleasant experience using Paul Doran Law and would definitely use again. Rebecca McM

The service was always informative, dignified and respectful. Chloe McL

I would definitely recommend. Colleen McB

Cormac was excellent from start to finish. I have already recommended him to friends and family. Sam M

Paul Doran Law were professional and very concerned about my feelings and what I had been through. I felt that they cared. Lisa M

Professional, helpful, very knowledgeable. Highly recommended. Bekki M

I found Cormac very compassionate and was always there as I had a lot of queries. Stephen McG

Impressed with accessibly, speed of response and professionalism. Edna L

Cormac was very professional and reassuring at all times. Kat K

Great, a good experience. Thank you. Mary K

Professional, efficient and friendly. Tabitha K

Very well treated throughout. I was always listened to and my questions answered. Allan H

I found Mr Rice to be professional, amiable and my overall experience was a positive one. Marcel G

I received valued information initially and came back later to receive a very satisfactory outcome. Lyn F

Put at ease very early on which helped me feel less stress. Harry D

I can’t thank you enough. I am so glad with the outcome and will recommend you. Christopher B

Cormac was great. Tom B

I would recommend Paul’s legal service as it is professional and thorough. Shelia H

This claim has been handled professionally and without delays. I am totally satisfied. Kelly L

Should the need arise I would definitely use Paul Doran’s services again. Suzie U

Any queries were answered quickly with detailed responses.  Sharon H

Everything was written very simply and in plain English which was good. Sylvia B

When time lines have been set, they have been met. I did not just feel like a case number. Karen S

When I emailed, Paul replied straight away.Very friendly and easy to talk to. Rita C

Paul was very thorough and helpful and successfully brought my case to an end. Margaret C

I feel strongly that Paul cares about clients. Pamela R

Paul was very reasonable and fair regarding the fees deducted from my claim offer I was awarded. Deborah McM

Very professional all the way through the process. Sharon C

I found all the staff to be knowledgeable and highly professional. Stephanie W

Well informed and easy to contact. I wouldn’t have won my case without him. Audrey S

Very good. Always stayed within the timescales given. Sound advice. Would recommend. Ken S

Efficient. Helpful. Take the clients points into consideration. Angela R

Paul Doran Law has been extremely helpful and supportive in very difficult circumstances. David R

Although a lengthy case, I have been constantly updated throughout. Jenny R

Professional and efficient service with helpful and friendly staff. Susan R

My case was handled professionally and my solicitor was very understanding and quick to respond. Eleanor P

Paul was very helpful and friendly. Adrian M

Cormac is a very reassuring person. He was very supportive when I got the jitters. Iain M

Kept going when it did not good and achieved a successful outcome. Shirley M

Competent, efficient and very pleasant to deal with. Cloda McN

Cormac deserves a salary for counselling alone! Lesley A

Cormac explained my options and talked me through each step and advised me of the best possible outcome. Gerard McL

They were quick to get things sorted. Emma McA

Very satisfied with the outcome to my case. Evelyn H

Solicitor very knowledgeable and took my case and concerns seriously in a very professional manner. Deborah H

Friendly, efficient and very professional. Charlotte G

I liked the personal touch. I received phone calls with updates instead of relying on letters all of the time. Sharon C

Very friendly and competent service. Peter G

Very professional. Kept me up to date at all times throughout the process. Blanche G

Straightforward service which is exactly what I needed. Paula F

Good end result. Paul did a lot of work. Lyn E

Very professional and always willing to help and offer advice when needed. Lytreena D

Very pleasant manner from staff and solicitors. Sara C

Outstanding. Friendly service from start to finish. Matthew C

I feel the company worked very hard to get the result. Christine C

From day one there was a plan of action. I feel I was listened to and heard after which to prove the case got easy. Kanta C

I would highly recommend. Karen B

Very good overall service. Judith B

Very happy with all aspects of my experience from initial contact to finish. Andrew B

Very professional, friendly and efficient. Kept me informed throughout the process. Paula F

Very professional. I always felt valued as a client Christine C

Paul was extremely professional and efficient Lesley A

Outstanding – friendly service from start to finish Matthew C

Paul Doran was very helpful during my communications, friendly & professional. Adrian M

I found right from the beginning Paul was very friendly and easy to ask questions at any time. Rita C

Paul is prompt, friendly and approachable. I liked how he was committed to my case and kept me informed. Judith P

I appreciate the thorough and expedient manner to which the task was completed. Barbara H

I feel Paul really cares about his clients and works to get the best outcome and justice for them.  Elaine S

My claim has been handled professionaly and without delays.  I am totally satisfied. Kelly L

Paul’s legal service is professional and thorough. Sharon H

I entrusted him with something that was very important to me and he did not let me down. Deborah McM

I was in contact with Paul on many occasions and all queries were dealt with personally and politely. Judith C

It has been a pleasure using Paul Doran Law. I would recommend him to friends and family. Sylvia B

Cormac was an absolute pleasure to work with – very polite, helpful, and thoughtful. Jessica D

Paul was polite and considerate and efficient. I would highly recommend this firm Geraldine A

I have been very impressed by the industry knowledge and the level of service provided. Nuala M

Quick, honest and responsive.

J Chambers

The service provided has been delivered beyond expectation.

K L Stokoe

Recommend without reservation.

J Taylor

If Paul had not taken on my case, I would not have received monies owed to me. E Shefford

I would recommend Paul’s legal service as it is professional and thorough. S Hall

View more testimonials

Why Choose Us?

  • We only work for employees
  • 25+ Years' Experience
  • No Win, No Fee available
  • Insurance to protect against Tribunal fees