Kick off the new tax year with 50% off our Ltd company accountancy packages!

Knowledge from Crunch - love accounting

‘Without Prejudice’ rules explained (and how they relate to Settlement Agreements)

Posted by Lesley Furber on Oct 23rd, 2013 | Employment law

'Without Prejudice' rules explained (and how they relate to Settlement Agreements). Image of two businessmen disagreeing

‘Without Prejudice’ Rules have existed for a long time, and are used by an employer when they and an employee have a dispute in their working relationship which they’re trying to resolve amicably.

The ‘Without Prejudice’ Rules prevents oral or written discussions, that are made in a genuine attempt to resolve an existing dispute, being used as evidence in a Court/Employment Tribunal.

This concept still applies now that Pre-Termination Negotiations (and Settlement Agreements) were introduced at the end of July 2013 – but they only apply where there is already a dispute in place, or potentially will be a dispute. The ‘without prejudice’ negotiations mustn’t be used as a cover for perjury, blackmail or unambiguous impropriety (which are the most serious of circumstances where one of the parties was exploiting the without prejudice rule to blatantly conceal wrongdoing).   There has often been uncertainty whether there’s an ‘existing ‘dispute between the parties – the Pre-Termination Negotiations were introduced because of this uncertainty.

All the details about Pre-Termination Negotiations and Settlement disputes are here.

The new Pre-Termination Negotiations can take place where there isn’t a current dispute, or where there’s a dispute that one of the parties isn’t aware of.

The other differences between ‘Without Prejudice’ Rules and Pre-Termination Negotiations are:

So, with the Pre-Termination Negotiations being an expansion of ‘Without Prejudice’ Rules, what is likely to happen in the future?

Pre-Termination Negotiation discussions are statutory provisions and will run in parallel with the ‘Without Prejudice’ Rules.  To ensure full protection against a Tribunal claim, it’s likely that any termination discussions by an Employer will include both elements, where this is possible.

If you are an Employer and need ongoing professional help with any staff/freelance issues then talk to Lesley at The HR Kiosk  – a Human Resources Consultancy for small businesses – our fees are low to reflect the pressures on small businesses and you can hire us for as much time as you need.

Please note that the advice given on this website and by our Advisors is guidance only and cannot be taken as an authoritative or current interpretation of the law. It can also not be seen as specific advice for individual cases. Please also note that there are differences in legislation in Northern Ireland.

Fed up of the nine to five? Find out more about working for yourself.

50% off our ltd company packages for your first three months!

Kick off the new tax year with 50% off any of our limited company accountancy packages.

Join Crunch Chorus:
The free community for the self-employed

You'll get access to a range of benefits, such as invoice software, jargon-free business guides, great networking opportunities, discounts, plus much more

Useful tools and resources

Business guides

From understanding expenses to starting a limited company, we've a range of jargon-free business guides for you to download and keep.

Invoicing software and templates

Create, send and store sole trader invoices in a snap with our free invoice software. You can also download a selection of invoice templates for all business types.

Take-home pay calculator

Use our Take-Home Pay Calculator to work out your true earnings and see if you could save money with a different company set up.

Need help with your accountancy?

Join 11,000 clients who trust our advice, support, and leading accountancy software for their business. All the support and advice you need, wherever you need it. Speak to an expert today on 0333 311 0800 to find out more about our bespoke packages.

    Find out more