Negotiating an exit using new confidentiality rules: proceed with caution
The government is on a mission — to keep parties out of the employment tribunal system. Among the many new laws coming into force this summer are provisions that make exit negotiations non-disclosable in some subsequent tribunal proceedings. These provisions will supplement the existing protection of ‘without prejudice’ (WP) discussions and overcome the limitation that confidentiality only covers WP discussions aimed at resolving ‘genuine disputes’.
The rationale was that employers often wish to agree an exit in the absence of a ‘genuine dispute’. The new laws are intended to do just that — they apply to cases where the parties are not in a dispute. But they have major shortcomings, which could lull unaware employers into a false sense of security…
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