Five settlement agreement cases in the Employment Tribunal in 2018
Mr M Stephenson v Next Retail Limited ET/2501209/2018
Summary of claim: the Employment Tribunal held that it did not have jurisdiction to hear claims for unfair dismissal and disability discrimination as Mr Stephenson had entered into a COT3 settlement agreement in full and final settlement of any claims; this was despite Mr Stephenson arguing that the agreement had not been fully explained to him by ACAS prior to him entering into the agreement.
Mrs P Cleary v Birmingham City Council ET/1301725/2008
Summary of claim:the Employment Tribunal held that a claimant was precluded from pursuing her claims in the Tribunal as she had previously entered into a COT3 settlement agreement in full and final settlement of any current and future claims.
Chris Hadrill, partner in the employment department at Redmans, commented on the case: “If an employee signs a settlement agreement then it will normally be quite difficult for them to challenge the validity of the settlement agreement, barring any exceptional circumstances (for example, duress or a lack of capacity). Settlement agreements will normally be full and final in nature, and the parties must take care to ensure that they’re happy with both the substance and the wording of the agreement.”
Mrs D Lingard v Leading Learners Multi Academy Trust ET/2401985/2017
Summary of claim:the Employment Tribunal held that giving a 4-day time period for the acceptance of a settlement agreement offer did not constitute ‘improper behaviour’, holding that the meetings between the employer and the employee relating to a settlement offer were not admissible for the purposes of the Employment Tribunal claim.
Mr J Moulton v The Chief Constable of Norfolk Constabulary ET3328910/2017
Summary of claim:the Employment Tribunal held that the Claimant could not bring a second claim against against Norfolk Constabulary as the terms of a previous settlement agreement entered into precluded this. This case shows that signing a settlement agreement will generally act as a bar to raising any issues settled by that agreement in any future claim, unless the language of the settlement agreement specifically allows this; parties to settlement agreements should be very careful to ensure that the wording of the settlement agreement meets what was intended by the parties.
Mrs M Richards v Avon and Wiltshire Mental Health Partnership Trust
Summary of claim:the Employment Tribunal held that the Claimant could not bring a second discrimination claim against her previous employer as the settlement agreement she had signed precluded her from doing so.