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Government moves to drop long-awaited measure from Employment Bill

The measure relates to ‘compromise agreements,’ and was aimed at simplifying the resolution of employee/employer disputes by allowing the blanket settlement of a range of possible claims.

23 May 2002

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Government
moves to drop long-awaited measure from Employment Bill

The
measure relates to ‘compromise agreements,’ and was aimed at simplifying the
resolution of employee/employer disputes by allowing the blanket settlement of a
range of possible claims.

This
means that when an employee settles a claim (eg of unfair dismissal) they also
agree with their employer that the settlement relates to all other claims
relating to the termination of their employment.

 

Steve
Lorber, a partner in the Lewis Silkin employment team, commented, “It is
depressing that the government has dropped these plans to facilitate employers
and employees making a clean break, which were widely supported by employers.
Currently, when settling claims, employers are often forced to ask employees to
acknowledge the existence of each of the whole range of possible claims (eg
everything from racial discrimination to sexual harassment to a claim over
working time) to protect their business from further claims. This creates
uncertainty for employers (in case they have omitted any possible claims), and
is a waste of time for employers and employees, who effectively have to pretend
they have all these claims and then settle them.”

 

The
Government came under pressure from peers claiming that the proposed change
enabled employers to remove all statutory protection from employees by private
agreement.

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