There are many reasons why an employer will ask an employee to sign a settlement agreement; sometimes it is because there is a genuine redundancy situation but the terms are very generous and the employer wants to ensure that they are being generous in return for no further claims by the employee.
It may be that the working relationship has broken down and the parties have reached an agreement to bring the employment to an end without the need for litigation. Sometimes the employer has embarked on a disciplinary process which is likely to end in the termination of employment and the parties agree on a dignified exit. Sometimes there is no agreement at all, but a sudden termination of employment and a hard negotiation on the terms of the exit.
Whatever the reason, a settlement agreement is an agreement preventing the employee from bringing future claims against the employer in return for a sum of money (usually) and it is not binding unless the employee has received legal advice on both its terms and the ability of the employee to bring claims once they have signed it.
We will advise you on the terms of your agreement, negotiate these if necessary and discuss the circumstances of your termination and ensure that you are not giving up rights in circumstances where you have a valuable claim that you want to pursue.