What is the risk of pushing back on settlement agreement terms offered?

I have been advising employee and senior executives on their settlement agreements for 30 years and I am asked this question every day.

The question always comes up when I am discussing whether my client is happy with the terms they have been offered under the settlement agreement or whether they want to go for better terms and/or more money.

Some clients are happy with the value of the offer set out in the settlement agreement and just want advice and sign off, which I can provided on a same day basis if urgent.

Other clients are unhappy with what has been offered or at least want to understand the value of any claims they may have would compare with what they have been offered.  As part of the advice given I explain how the employment tribunal calculates awards and this allows the client to weigh up whether or not to accept the offer or ask for more.

Asking for an increased payment under a settlement agreement is known as making a counter-offer and strictly speaking amounts to a rejection of the existing offer so needs to be handled carefully.

Whilst making such a counter-offer always comes with the risk that the employer could pull the original settlement offer, in my experience 99.9% of employers receiving such a counter offer/request for changes to a settlement agreement (including a request for an increased payment) very rarely pull the offer altogether but this is always a risk.  Employers will usually either stick to their original offer or agree to an increase.

Your chances of getting an increase in any offer set out in a settlement agreement will very much depend on the facts/background and to what extent you can supply me with the ammunition I need to enable me to persuade/scare your employer that it is in their best interests to increase the current offer and get the matter settled.

If you need sign off or advice on your settlement agreement please contact David Greenhalgh.

This article/blog is for reference purposes only. It does not constitute legal advice and should not be relied upon as such. Specific legal advice about your specific circumstances should always be sought separately before taking or deciding not to take any action.