Chester 01244 405555

Grosvenor Court
Foregate Street Chester
Cheshire CH1 1HG
DX: 19990 Chester

Shrewsbury 01743 443 043

Lakeside House
Oxon Business Park
Shrewsbury SY3 5HJ
DX: 148563 Shrewsbury 14

Airport City, Manchester 0844 800 8346

Office 129
Manchester Business Park
3000 Aviator Way
Manchester M22 5TG

Send us a message
Our Offices

Dismissals & Protected Conversations

12th September, 2016

Many employers are naturally cautious when using “protected conversations” as introduced in 2013 to allow employers and employees to discuss termination of employment on agreed terms.

A protected conversation is when the employer and the employee agree that claims for unfair dismissal can not be pursued after their discussions on a protected conversation basis so that the employer and the employee can discuss potential terms of departure.

The Employment Appeals Tribunal (EAT) has given its first appeal judgement on protected conversations in a case called Faithorn Farrell Timms LLP – v – Bailey UK EAT/0025/16/RM. The EAT confirmed that Without Prejudice discussions are not applicable to protected conversations, and that the two are distinct. Whilst most lawyers have understood this distinction since the introduction in 2013 of protected conversations, a large number of non-legal advisors have been concerned and confused by which principles apply. If you are conducting a protected conversation as an employer, it is important that you secure agreement to hold a protected conversation under Section 111(a) of the Employment Rights Act 1996 (as amended by the 2013 changes) and that the employee agrees. It is also important that the employer recognises this only applies to unfair dismissal claims, and therefore, claims for discrimination, whistleblowing etc. will be excluded from this protection.

The Faithorn Farrell Timms case has confirmed that the protection extends not just to the content of the protected conversation (e.g. an offer), but also the fact of them taking place at all. This is far broader than the Without Prejudice discussion protection, and employers can increasingly seek to use protected conversations with confidence.

Since the introduction of protected conversations the team at Aaron & Partners have advised numerous firms on the appropriate use of protected conversations, and enabled many employers to deal with sensitive situations effectively, both in terms of the discussions with the employee who they wish to depart, and commercially effectively by adopting the right negotiating strategy.

 

You might also be interested in...

Compensation for Employees Made Redundant Due to Administration

18th September, 2019

Our solicitors have a proven track record of recovering compensation for clients where their employer is in administration... Read More »

Protecting Your Interest in Your Children’s Homes

18th September, 2019

It is far from unusual for parents to give their children a helping hand to get on the... Read More »

Key promotions announced at Aaron & Partners

12th September, 2019

Legal practice Aaron & Partners has announced five key promotions across its two offices – including a new... Read More »

Contact Us