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Settlement Agreement Should I Consider The Employers Offer?

Settlement Agreement Should I Accept Offer?

During the conciliation stage (both parties are still expected to keep trying to work out a resolution up until the final hearing), the Respondent might try to make you an offer through Acas and you are expected to consider the offer(s). 

This offer will also be made on a without prejudice basis, save as to costs. If the offer is not accepted, and you go on to lose your claims, or are successful but are awarded a sum lower than the value of the offer, then the respondent can specifically reserve the right to bring the letter and the offer contained in it to the attention of the Tribunal with respect to the issue of costs.  In doing so, the respondent will usually be relying upon the derivative authorities pursuant to the case of Calderbank v Calderbank (commonly used by respondents in pursuing cost).  This means that the respondent will make an application to recover its legal costs from you, on the basis that your conduct in pursuing the claims beyond the expiry of the offer is unreasonable and misconceived. 

You are not compelled to take the offer but you are expected to consider the offer with what you think you could get at the final hearing. You can get legal adviser to help you with this dealings, though that may come with additional cost. It might be helpful to negotiate the offer as close as you can with your schedule of loss but try to be reasonable with your demand(s). You can see a sample schedule of loss by clicking here.

If you have left your job, the respondent could also note that you have not provided any mitigation evidence and in the unlikely event that you are awarded compensation for your lost earnings, and you have failed to mitigate those losses, any compensation could be reduced accordingly too. It is advisable to try keep records of your job applications / interviews or efforts to retrain or acquire new skills.

The respondent will usually start with a first offer that is very low. That the employer made an offer is not an acceptance of guilt. Even if your case is weak, they may want to settle out of court to save cost and loss of time. Your response must always be reasonable to stand a chance of a successful claim. Some employers may not make any offer and may be willing to drag it till the final hearing date. This is usually done as a sign of strength and to also send a signal to your colleagues who may have been encouraged by your lawsuit. 

You may receive offers on the first day in court or during the proceedings (if the hearing will take more a day). If you receive an offer and would like to accept it, this can still be done through your Acas conciliator and a COT3 document will be issued after the signed agreement between the claimant and the respondent.

Your claim will then be withdrawn upon signed agreement.