Employment Law Watch: the new law — too good to be true?

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As of 29 July, employers can enter into confidential negotiations with an employee with the aim of terminating their employment. In other words, evidence of those conversations will be inadmissible in a court or tribunal in a similar way to the common law ‘without prejudice’ principle, but without the need for a pre-existing dispute. Conversely, employees are also afforded the same protection if they choose to start the conversation (although that is a lot less common).

This sounds like a liberating new right. It should mean that you can have a frank and honest discussion with any employee you no longer wish to employ without worrying about these discussions tainting any formal disciplinary/grievance process or being used as evidence against you in future litigation. However, as with most things that look too good to be true, it is. There are limitations with the new protection that mean, broadly speaking, you should still approach these discussions in the same manner as you have up until now…

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