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August 2021 3 NEWS Advertiser’s announcement Chris Macwilliam, head of employment law at Clough & Willis Solicitors answers your questions about settle- ment agreements Q. Why is my employer asking me to sign a settlement agreement? A. A settlement agreement is not really needed to make you redundant but your employer may want you to sign a settle- ment agreement because it sets out in writing your agreement to not take any legal or court action against them once your employ- ment has ended. Q. Do I have to sign to a settlement agreement? A. No. You can refuse completely or negotiate the terms offered. A specialist employment law so- licitor can help you get the best terms possible for you and this could include an increase in the compensation offered and a refer- ence and will check to see if any of the terms offered will restrict your ability to get another job. Q. If I’m happy with the terms and don’t want to negotiate what do I do next? A. Take advice from a specialist employment law solicitor so that you fully understand what you are signing up to and to make sure the agreement is in your best interests and that you are being paid everything that is due to you such as holiday pay, payment in lieu of notice and the correct redundancy payment. If you’re still happy with the terms you can just sign the agreement and your solicitor will provide a certificate to show he/she has ad- vised you about it. Q. Do I need legal advice? A.Yes, it is a legal requirement as settlement agreements must be reviewed by a qualified lawyer who is insured and who will pro- vide a certificate to confirm that he/she has advised you. Q. Is a settlement agreement the same as redundancy? A. Although a settlement agree- ment is often used in a redun- dancy situation, it is not the same as just being made redun- dant. A settlement agreement sets out in writing that an em- ployee agrees to give up their rights to bring any legal action against their employer after be- ing made redundant. Redundancy is different as it doesn’t waive an employee’s rights. If you are being offered a settlement agreement it is usually because your employer is paying you more than just a statutory redundancy payment and by signing the agreement you would give up your right to make a claim for unfair dismissal against your employer. Q. Will I have to pay for a solicitor to advise me about the settlement agreement? A. Your employer will usually pay all or most of your legal costs. Q. Do I have to come to your office to sign? A. Not if you do not want to. In most cases things can be dealt with on the telephone and/or by email so a physical visit to the office is not needed unless you prefer to meet face to face. For more information on any of the above issues, or to make an appointment call Chris Macwilliam at Clough & Willis on 0161 764 5266. TALENTED art students have helped a White- field pub emerge from lockdown with a smart look and a fresh link of paint. Bury College’s Level 3 art and design students have been revamping The Frigate in line with a brief supplied by the landlord and landlady to celebrate the re-open- ing of the pub after its long closure during the pandemic. As part of a work place- ment, students were asked to create a design mural for a large blank wall outside the pub. And the work they have be- come a local talking point Molly Barton, a first- year games design and in- teractive media student, created the design digi- tally, following the brief for something eye-catch- ing that would make passers-by stop and look, and that would create a feeling of togetherness. A small group of stu- dents worked incredibly hard over three days to paint the mural onto the wall. WALL TO WALL ART Bury Head Office 2 Manchester Road, Bury Lancashire, BL9 0DT. T: 0161 764 5266 Open 9AM-5PM Little Lever Office 58 Market Street, Little Lever Bolton, BL3 1HN. T: 01204 709959 Open 9AM-5PM @BurySolicitor We believe that experience counts when it comes to matters of family and personal law. Our team of specialist solicitors provide free, 20 minute consultations on the following: • Employment Law • Wills, Probate, Trusts & Tax Planning • Personal Injury • Family Matters • Property Law • Litigation/Dispute Resolution Call us now on 0800 083 0815 to book your free appointment! Loyal, resilient and trustworthy SETTLEMENT AGREEMENTS: THE FACTS