Settlement Agreements

Thompsons has a specialist settlement agreement unit providing workers with expert advice on the meaning of the contents of a settlement agreement and the implications of signing one.

In order for a settlement agreement to be valid, it is a legal requirement that the worker obtains advice from a relevant independent advisor as to the meaning and the effect of signing the agreement. Where a settlement agreement is proposed to resolve a dispute between an employer and a worker, this may also include a termination of the worker's employment.

If you find yourself being asked to sign a settlement agreement, Thompsons’ expert lawyers are able to assist.

One of our specialist lawyers will contact you and/or your union official within 24 hours to confirm receipt of the request for advice and the relevant documents. Within a further 48 hours, we will offer advice to you about the implications of signing the agreement, before arranging for copies to be sent to you and your employer.


“I’m so thankful for the support I received from my trade union and Thompsons. Settling my case has enabled me to put my time at the hospital behind me so I can move forward with my life.” Angela, trade union member


1. What is a settlement agreement?

Settlement agreements are voluntary, legal contracts – often suggested by an employer and always set out in writing – that stipulate agreed terms to end an employment situation or work-related dispute. They are commonly given to employees who are leaving their current employment after a disagreement. Any claim covered by the settlement agreement cannot be taken to an employment tribunal later.

2. Can my trade union help me with my settlement agreement?

Yes. While trade union membership details vary, most offer their members free legal advice and representation, including for employment matters, such as settlement agreements. If you are losing your job and your employer has suggested you sign a settlement agreement, you should contact your trade union representative immediately. 

Not only is legal advice for employees a necessity to make an agreement valid, but a legal expert can help you ensure you are getting the best deal for you, and to determine whether you have any grounds for a claim against your employer for unfair dismissal, for example.