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We aim to provide practical guidance on useful areas of busness law.  

By brocs1, Dec 3 2020 10:56AM

ACAS have quite rightly addressed in their recent message to employers that “whilst times are tough”, “employers should exhaust all possible alternative before making redundancies”.


With business needs having to change dramatically to keep its staff and users safe, most employers are working hard to ensure minimum impact of redundancies by offering reduced hours, alternative roles, job share and more.


Whilst ACAS have called on employers to work with their employees and trade unions to get the process of redundancy correct by following 5 principles as laid out on their website, we call on employees to ensure they seek legal advice on their employment rights – we have often seen some redundancies disguised as such when in fact, there was no genuine call for a redundancy.


If you are an individual and you are unsure about how you are affected or what your rights may be or you are an employer and you are concerned as to how your business will be affected then do contact our specialist team at Summerfield Browne Solicitors on 0800 567 7595 or email [email protected]



By brocs1, Sep 28 2020 09:50AM

Last week, 24 September 2020, the Chancellor, Rishi Sunak revealed the governments’ upcoming plan to protect as many livelihoods and business as they can over the next coming months.


Within the package of measures announced is the new job support scheme which will run for 6 months from 1 November 2020. This scheme is designed to assist employees remain at work with the government contributing towards employee salaries who are working less than their normal hours due to decreased demand. This scheme is open to businesses across the UK, regardless of whether the furlough scheme was used. So that the government supports only workable jobs, an employee must be working at least 33% of their usual hours, which means employees who go back to work on shorter hours will still be paid two thirds of hours not worked.


If you are a business and you are not sure how this scheme will affect you or your employees, or you are an employee who may be returned to work or have returned to work on reduced hours and would like to know more, then do contact our specialist team at Summerfield Browne Solicitorson 0800 567 7595.





By brocs1, Jun 10 2020 09:46AM

With thousands of jobs being cut in recent weeks it is understandably many employees will want to be advised on their legal rights should their job be put ‘at risk’.


It is increasingly common to find that, rather than follow a formal redundancy procedure, companies are offering their employees Settlement Agreements in order to bring an employee’s employment to an end. Typically, the Settlement Agreement will involve the employee giving up their legal right to bring a claim in an employment tribunal against their employer for failing to follow the correct redundancy process and, in exchange, the employee will accept a sum of money known as a “Termination Payment”. The termination payment may include a tax-free element which can prove an incentive for an employee to sign a Settlement Agreement. Employers usually offer to pay for an employee to seek independent legal advice on the terms of a settlement agreement and this is a service that we offer our clients.



To go through the terms of the settlement agreement we can be arrange either a face-to-face meeting or this can be done on the telephone and we will advise you as to whether the terms that you are being offered in the Settlement Agreement are fair according to your circumstances.



To be legally binding settlement agreements must be signed by the employee, the employee’s legal adviser (typically a solicitor holding a practicing certificate at a firm with indemnity insurance for the advice they provide) and the employer. Once the parties have signed the Settlement Agreement the document becomes legally binding. Some of the advantages of signing a settlement agreement is obtaining an agreed reference, a tax-free payment and agreeing to part with your employer on friendly terms. Often individuals do not want to take part in stressful and uncertain redundancy consultations which can be draining, and demotivating and we can advise on the terms that you are being offered and let you know whether you are being offered a fair deal.



Summerfield Browne have offices in Leicester, Birmingham, London, Oxford, Cambridge and Market Harborough.



By sfb solicitors, Feb 1 2019 01:27PM

With Brexit in the news it is difficult to not come across a story of a UK business making cut backs in their work force. The news that Jaguar Land Rover and Ford are contemplating thousands of job cuts will be a cause for concern for many. Understandably many employees will want to be advised on their legal rights should their job be put ‘at risk’.


https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-46822706


It is increasingly common to find that, rather than follow a formal redundancy procedure, companies are offering their employees Settlement Agreements in order to bring an employee’s employment to an end. Typically, the Settlement Agreement will involve the employee giving up their legal right to bring a claim in an employment tribunal against their employer for failing to follow the correct redundancy process and, in exchange, the employee will accept a sum of money known as a “Termination Payment”. The termination payment may include a tax-free element which can prove an incentive for an employee to sign a Settlement Agreement. Employers usually offer to pay for an employee to seek independent legal advice on the terms of a settlement agreement and this is a service that we offer our clients.


To go through the terms of the settlement agreement we can be arrange either a face-to-face meeting or this can be done on the telephone and we will advise you as to whether the terms that you are being offered in the Settlement Agreement are fair according to your circumstances.


To be legally binding settlement agreements must be signed by the employee, the employee’s legal adviser (typically a solicitor holding a practicing certificate at a firm with indemnity insurance for the advice they provide) and the employer. Once the parties have signed the Settlement Agreement the document becomes legally binding. Some of the advantages of signing a settlement agreement is obtaining an agreed reference, a tax-free payment and agreeing to part with your employer on friendly terms. Often individuals do not want to take part in stressful and uncertain redundancy consultations which can be draining, and demotivating and we can advise on the terms that you are being offered and let you know whether you are being offered a fair deal.


Summerfield Browne have offices in Leicester, Birmingham, London, Oxford, Cambridge and Market Harborough.



By sfb solicitors, May 2 2018 09:15AM

We have recently been instructed by a number of new clients in relation to Settlement Agreements and it is worthwhile re-visiting exactly what these agreements are and how they can benefit an employee looking to leave their job.


Leaving a job can often be stressful in itself and can lead to a number of questions such as:

1. Do I need to work my notice period?

2. When will I get paid?

3. Can I receive a tax-free payment from my employer?


If the employee finds the whole process stressful employers can also be worried that an employee is thinking about bringing a claim against them, for example, for failing to follow a redundancy procedure or for not taking an employee’s grievance seriously.


Often when the parties are in agreement that the employment should come to an end a negotiation will take place and the employee will be offered what is known as a Settlement Agreement (formerly known as a Compromise Agreement). These agreements will usually cover off things like:

1. The termination date of a contract of employment;

2. Provide certainty for an employee as to when they will be paid;

3. Provide for a tax-free lump sum payment in exchange for promises that the employee will not seek to bring a claim in an employment tribunal;

4. Confidentiality – that the employee will keep the terms of the Agreement (especially any pay-out being made) confidential; and

5. That the employee has received independent legal advice as to the terms of the agreement and has been advised on how signing the Settlement Agreement means that they cannot bring a claim against their employer.


We advise clients both face-to-face and over the telephone on the terms of a settlement agreement. The legal advice is usually paid for by your employer. The telephone advice typically takes between 45 minutes and an hour and we can arrange these appointments quickly and at the convenience of the client.



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