See also –Unfair Dismissal, Unfair Dismissal Claim Template with Guidance [Misconduct], Unfair Dismissal Claim Template [Misconduct], Unfair Dismissal Claim Checklist [Misconduct], Automatically Unfair reasons for Dismissal , ACAS Code of Practice 1 on Discipline and Grievance Procedures Time limits in the Employment Tribunal, Without prejudice subject to costs offers and the Employment Tribunal, The Employment Tribunal Process, Checklist for claiming compensation in the Employment Tribunal, Without prejudice communications and discussions, Termination Negotiations, ACAS Conciliation Flowchart
Section 111A of the Employment Rights Act 1996 (ERA 1996) allows you or your Employer to have off the record, confidential termination negotiations about leaving the job with a settlement agreement. Details of these discussions cannot be placed in evidence before a Court or Employment Tribunal if the settlement negotiations break down. Basically, you agree to payment of a sum of money, in exchange for not suing your Employer. Note however, that it only applies to unfair dismissal claims.
It is similar to the Without Prejudice Rule, but with an important difference. For the Without Prejudice rule to apply there must be an existing dispute between you and your Employer. Section 111A allows Without Prejudice discussions to take place where there is no existing dispute. For this reason, it is called a “Protected Conversation”. [see Without prejudice communications and discussions, Without prejudice subject to costs offers and the Employment Tribunal ]. Because your Employer can start a protected conversation without an existing dispute, some will not bother with disciplinary proceedings, so you can get completely sideswiped by a pre-termination discussion.
Protected conversations are guided by the ACAS Code of Practice 4 – Settlement Agreements, and the accompanying Guidance on Settlement Agreements. Failure to adhere to the ACAS Code on Settlement Agreements may remove the protection of Section 111A ERA 1996, from settlement communications and make them admissible in the Employment Tribunal or Court.
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