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These FAQs set out the common questions around miscellaneous employment matters, such as settlement agreements, resignations and employing children. The additional documents referred to are designed to assist you further. Please note that some documents are available to all readers whilst others are locked and only accessible to HR Protect clients. To become a retainer client or to find out further information please click here.

What do I need to think about when employing children?

There are specific rules in place in relation to employing children. These largely relate to special provisions on limiting working time and providing adequate rest. For further information, see:

M14: Guidance Note: employing children and young workers

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M14 – Guidance Note – employing children and young workers

When can I use a settlement agreement?

Settlement agreements can be a very effective way of managing exits from the business, whilst also managing the risks involved. By offering a settlement agreement to an employee you are effectively buying off the risk of a claim. A settlement agreement can also a useful way to bind exiting employees to additional provisions on confidentiality and post termination restrictions, where necessary.

Employers need to be very careful when discussing potential settlement with employees, as a poorly managed conversation can in itself trigger claims. For further information on how to conduct these conversations, please see:

M9: Guidance on holding protected conversations

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M9 – Guidance on holding protected conversations

What does a settlement agreement need to contain?

In order for settlement agreements to be binding it is essential that the document is properly drafted and sets out the agreement between the parties accurately. A settlement agreement that does not comply with the legislative requirements is very unlikely to be enforceable. Please speak to your advisor about drafting an agreement for you.

In order to put together the settlement agreement your advisor will require certain information from you. Please complete Settlement Agreement questionnaire which sets out all of the relevant information required.

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M7 – Settlement agreement questionnaire

How do I accept a resignation?

It is not up to the employer to “accept” an employee’s resignation, or otherwise- it is up to the individual to resign and inform the employer that this is the case. However, a resignation should be acknowledged by the employer and a letter confirming arrangements should be sent to the employee. For a letter acknowledging a resignation please see:

M2: Letter acknowledging resignation

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M2 – Letter acknowledging resignation

How to get employees to opt out of the 48 hour working week limit?

The Working Time Regulations imposes strict limits on working time in relation to minimum rest periods, rest breaks, holidays and limiting working time. There is restricted ability for employers to validly exceed these limits, however employers are able to ask their workers to opt out of the 48 hour maximum working week by getting them to sign an opt out agreement.

There are significant penalties for employers who do not observe the 48 hour maximum working week and who do not have opt out agreements in place. Therefore, where there is a possibility that a worker may exceed a 48 hour maximum working week then it is crucial that an opt out agreement is put in place. See, Working Time Regulations: 48 hour opt out agreement in the document section. However, employers should also be mindful of not subjecting employees to a detriment for agreeing to the opt out, or withdrawing their consent to this.

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M1 – Working Time Regulations – 48 hour opt out agreement

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