Recently we were asked to become involved in a bulk Settlement Agreement exercise, engaging initially with employees’ representatives and then the individual employees themselves, in order to provide independent advice on the terms and effect of the proposed Agreements. 
From the employees’ perspective, this had the benefit of ensuring that they all had consistent advice on what they were being asked to agree, and a single point of contact for this purpose. In turn, the employers had the benefit of saving the extra time and resources that would have been needed to deal with a large number of outside firms advising the employees. 
Previously, our involvement in multiple Settlement Agreement projects had included a local manufacturing workplace closure, where those not relocating were being treated generously in return for agreeing not to make tribunal claims; a major higher educational institution that was looking to revise contracts for all of its academic staff without fear of claims, having made it clear that no staff members’ roles were in danger; and a sixth form college looking to manage a redundancy programme in a practical manner, while not leaving everything down to union representatives. 
What was different about the large scale Settlement Agreement round in which we have just participated? Two points come to mind. The first, the background of a workplace transfer from one employer to another under the TUPE regime, where the relocation from Hertfordshire to east London – and the work from home policy that covered some of the employees’ contract terms – had made it sensible for the employer to treat objectors generously, in return for a clean break in every respect. The second, the scope for an initial Zoom conference call with the employees’ representatives, not only rendering the distance factor academic but also effectively saving the need for meetings with any of the employees. Every subsequent query was quickly and easily handled via email. Docusign then enabled an efficient process for signing, certifying and completing the individual Settlement Agreements. 
Our principal contact, the HR officer who had reached out from the employer to seek our assistance, concluded the process by commenting: “Thank you for your assistance to our departing colleagues. I know having one point of contact has really helped them feel supported, and demystified the process for them. It has also enabled all parties to reach a timely resolution, and alleviated some of the stress in a very challenging situation.” 
From our perspective, we were pleased to have helped. We would be just as pleased to become involved in any similar bulk Settlement Agreement requirement for any other employers with similar needs. 
Do you have a workplace change of any kind that calls for the offer of multiple Settlement Agreements? Would a single point of contact be helpful for you, your employees and their representatives, on an entirely independent basis as the Settlement Agreement legislation requires? You are welcome to get in touch. Please contact David Cooper via 0121 325 5402 or via . 
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