Settlement agreements (compromise agreements)

ACAS have now produced their finalised Code of Practice on Settlement Agreements, and although no actual implementation date has still been set, it is still being indicated that “summer 2013” will be the date to expect.>

The ACAS code is available on the following link for those interested in reading through it:

http://www.acas.org.uk/media/pdf/n/o/Acas-response-to-Settlement-Agreements-Code-June-2013.pdf 

However, in brief the changes which are most worthy of note from the original submission are as follows:

  • omitting the requirement that the initial termination settlement offer must be in writing
  • omitting the template letters (but moving them to non-statutory guidance)
  • adding a requirement that an employee must have a minimum of 10 calendar days to consider any offer
  • adding an expectation that employees should be allowed to be accompanied at settlement meetings

It is interesting that the word “expectation” is used in relation to the employee being accompanied, as this infers that it is not a statutory right. As usual with new legislation though, no doubt this may well be changed and verified more clearly once the rules have been tried and tested!