ACAS have issued their draft guidelines for the new settlement agreements to be rolled out this summer.
Key points include:
– Evidence of offers made and accompanying negotiations with a view to reaching an agreed termination will be inadmissible in ‘ordinary’ unfair dismissal claims (would not include discrimination, bullying etc)
– the initial settlement offer now doesn’t have to be in writing (but to be legally binding the agreement will ultimately have to be in writing)
– the template letters have been moved into the non-statutory guidance
– a minimum period of 10 days (it was 7 in the draft) should be allowed for considering a settlement offer, and
– while not a legal requirement, employers should allow staff to be accompanied by a work colleague, union official/representative at a settlement discussion meeting