Many employees make mistakes when negotiating a settlement agreement. Ask our specialist to avoid them and get the maximum result.
If you are offered a settlement agreement, you will probably first think, "What now?"
If you feel that you are getting a raw deal and that you are entitled to more, then contact our dismissal specialists immediately. In over 90% of cases, we secure a better severance package. The initial advice is FREE.
Below, you'll find what you should definitely consider if you receive an offer for a settlement agreement and are thinking of negotiating it yourself (which we do not recommend).
Received a settlement agreement? Contact us for a no-obligation consultation right away.
Common mistakes with settlement agreements:
1. Lack of preparation.
If your employer calls you in and offers you a settlement agreement, you may be tempted to react immediately. Please don't do this. Our advice is to request at least a few days to think it over. This gives you time to put things into perspective and prepare a response.
While preparing your response, consider what you would like to see included in the settlement agreement. Think about the best-case scenario for you and what the worst-case scenario could be.
Also, determine the minimum terms you can accept. Once you've formulated these questions for yourself, you'll be in a better position when negotiating the settlement agreement with your employer.
However, it's also important to consider why your employer should accept your proposals. This brings us to the next point that many employees get wrong.
2. Failing to understand why the employer would improve the settlement agreement.
Why should your employer give you more?
Many employers will not want to offer more than they are legally required to. You need to consider what might motivate your employer to offer you more.
For example, if you refuse to accept the settlement agreement, it may lead to a procedure being initiated with the labor court (or the Employee Insurance Agency in some countries). The advantage for your employer in a settlement agreement is that they wish to avoid the costs of a judicial procedure and seek 'certainty.' The outcome of a legal proceeding is often hard to predict. Furthermore, the result of a legal proceeding is public, whereas a settlement agreement can include confidentiality.
But remember: there are also employers who want to improve the settlement agreement in your favor, even if it doesn't benefit them. Some may simply want to show their gratitude for the work you've done and offer a better arrangement than legally required.
3. Losing goodwill
It may happen that you don't have legal or financial arguments to persuade your employer to offer you more.
However, you might be able to convince your employer to offer more based on goodwill. Avoid squandering this goodwill.
Arguments that an employee can raise with an employer, which the labor court (or a judge) may not consider or give much weight to, include:
- The fact that you have made significant contributions to the company.
- The difficult situation you would be in upon losing your job.
- The sacrifices you've made in your personal life for the benefit of the company.
This approach works better in small businesses where a sense of family still exists.
4. Not staying available for work
If you are offered a settlement agreement, it's a good idea to inform your employer that you will seek advice and that you will remain available for work.
5. Not seeking legal advice, free legal advice from dismissal specialists.
Many employees attempt to negotiate their settlement agreement before seeking legal advice on their mutual consent termination. This is not advisable. If you have agreed to terms with your employer, it usually becomes difficult for your lawyer or attorney to later improve the settlement agreement. You may be entitled to a higher severance pay or a bonus. We advocate for your interests and, in most cases, achieve a better severance package. We also check whether your settlement agreement is unemployment benefit-safe.
Therefore, we advise you to seek legal advice immediately after receiving a settlement agreement. We offer an initial free consultation to maximize the chance of a favorable settlement agreement. We also review your unemployment benefits rights.