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Ex Gratia Payments

A settlement agreement normally includes a payment made by the employer to the employee. A termination payment is sometimes also known as a compensation payment, severance payment (particularly in the US) or an "ex-gratia" payment.

Contractual payments must be made subject to usual deductions for tax and national insurance. Whereas a genuine ex-gratia payments are not made for work that has been undertaken or for a provision of services or under a contract of employment and are essentially compensation for loss of employment or a “gift” by the employer. Consequently they can be paid free of tax up to £30,000 pursuant to section 403 of the Income Tax (Earnings and Pensions) Act 2003.

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