The settlement agreements, previously known as compromise agreements, entered into force on July 29, 2013. These are legally binding contracts that allow an employment relationship to be terminated on agreed terms. They prohibit a worker from taking legal action against his employer for matters specifically covered by the agreement. These agreements are voluntary, as the parties are not required to agree or discuss them. In the event of alleged harassment or discrimination, the human resources department must ensure that confidentiality clauses are applied ethically and appropriately in settlement agreements. Workers should be fully informed of the legal status of such an agreement, including their inability to bring future action. They should not be used to cover cases of alleged discrimination, harassment or harassment. Nor should such clauses be used to prevent anyone from reporting faults such as. B a disclosure protected under whistleblowing legislation. Binding comparisons can also be concluded through negotiations with a representative of ACAS (resulting in a COT3 agreement). If the parties resort to early mediation and reach an agreement successfully, the conciliator will thus register the agreement – cf. Q &A What is the role of an ACAS representative in labour court proceedings? High-level cases concerning the use of confidentiality clauses (also known as “confidentiality agreements” to silence victims of unlawful harassment or discrimination in the workplace, have led the government to review their use in settlement agreements. One of the proposals is that confidentiality agreements cannot prevent individuals from reporting crime, harassment or discrimination to the police.
For a settlement agreement to be legally binding, many conditions must be met: contingency fees are not the same as contingency fee agreements (better known as “no win, no fee”) for which the lawyer collects a basic fee plus a “success tax” that is not related to the damage recovered. It is never completely “safe” to discuss the terms of the settlement. Employers must initiate discussions on settlement terms when the continuation of a person`s employment is no longer justified. .