When goodbye is the hardest word…

Most of us have learnt the hard way that it’s never easy to leave somewhere or someone. The ‘somewhere’ can be a favourite location or it can be a place of work.

As employment lawyers specialising in negotiated departures, usually under a statutory “protected conversation”, one of the most common things we hear when representing someone who is leaving their job is how sad they are to be leaving, even if the experience has been a bad one. 

There are lots of things you can do to insulate yourself from the pain of leaving, but sometimes you just need to go through the process to reach the other end.

Some practical tips to get you through:

1.    Know your rights – What we mean by this is know what you’re entitled to under your employment contract and also make sure you know what you’re entitled to by law – both can make a massive difference to what you walk away with financially and also to how you cope with the situation on an emotional level.

2.    Make sure you have someone on your side – You will need to have support at this time. If you are lucky, you might have a good union representative, but even just having a supportive colleague or friend can make a huge difference.

3.    Think about the short term first – Consider what you can do to protect your (and your family’s) financial security in the immediate future:

  • Speak to an IFA about your financial options
  • Talk to your pension and/or mortgage provider about a payment holiday
  • Get in touch with a recruitment agency
  • Start working on your Linkedin profile to make yourself attractive to potential future employers.

All of these things allow you to take control in sometimes difficult circumstances.

4.    Use the chance to plan for the future – Think about what your life goals are and what your dream job or work/life balance might look like. You may not get exactly what you want, but at least you will have a better idea of what you are looking for.

5.    Get mingling – This is the time to get out and about and catch up with contacts and friends who might have ideas or opportunities for you. You never know what doors this might open for you!

We advise employees on the terms of their Settlement Agreements, so that they depart their employment on favourable terms.

We also prepare Settlement Agreements for employers and assist them with getting their employees to take independent legal advice on the terms of the Agreement.  

If you, or anyone you know, needs an employment lawyer for a settlement agreement, get in touch with a member of our friendly employment law team.

This update contains general information only and does not constitute legal or other professional advice.

Dawn Robertson, Partner & Accredited Specialist in Employment Law: dro@bto.co.uk / 0131 222 3242

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