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Protected Settlement Discussions

Our team in Chesterfield, Sheffield and Mansfield specialise in Protected Settlement Discussions.

Protected Settlement Discussions’ or ‘Protected Conversations’ effectively allow you and your employer to have an ‘off the record’ discussion regarding the termination of your employment. These conversations are entered into voluntarily and are classed as ‘protected’ because they are confidential and cannot therefore be used as part of any subsequent Employment Tribunal claim.

Protected Conversations are an extension to the ‘Without Prejudice’ rule, with the main difference being that a Without Prejudice discussion can only become protected where there is evidence of a dispute at the time of the conversation, whereas Protected Conversations can take place when there is no dispute or where there maybe a possible unfair dismissal claim, meaning that they often get used for terminations based on conduct or capability.

Under section 111A of the Employment Rights Act 1996 you can get your employer’s protection over-ruled where you can prove that any improper behaviour or conduct took place during the conversations, such as harassment, bullying or discrimination. If you are concerned about how your Protected Conversation has been handled we can help.

One of the main benefits to Protected Conversations is that they allow you to negotiate a termination package without having to go to Court and the terms will be finalised in a Settlement Agreement.

Watch the video below to see our employment expert, Katie Ash, explaining and answering some questions about what exactly a Settlement Agreement is.

Video originally featured here.

If you have any queries regarding a Settlement Agreement or Protected Conversations, please contact our Employment Law team for a free initial chat on 0330 017 6308* or

*calls cost no more than a local 01 number and are included in your mobile minutes.

Settlement Agreements

A Settlement Agreement (previously known as a Compromise Agreement) is a legally binding agreement that would usually include a lump sum termination payment and very often a reference. The agreements are entered into voluntarily and once you are happy with the negotiated terms and you sign it, the agreement prevents you from making any future claims against your employer.   If you are presented with a Settlement Agreement you are usually given time to seek independent legal advice (ACAS recommend up to 10 days) and it is usually the case that your employer would pay for the advice you receive. 

Should you need assistance in negotiating a Settlement Agreement our employment law team in Chesterfield, Sheffield and Mansfield specialise in these and we can help to negotiate the best terms on your behalf. Our team can also help employees who want to initiate discussions with their employer with the aim of obtaining and negotiating a Settlement Agreement, even where the employer has not already proposed such a settlement.

Expert Employment Law Solicitors

Our expert employment law solicitors are highly experienced and will treat each case uniquely depending on your circumstances. Our employment law specialists achieve solutions through confidential settlements and are always on hand to provide support when resolving employment law problems. We have worked on many employment law cases and each individual receives the upmost care and consideration throughout the case.

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Areas Covered

If you have an employment problem, often it is something else for consideration within your case, so it is always worth contacting an employment law solicitor and finding out for certain.

At Banner Jones we can advise you on your legal rights regarding employment law, where they relate to the following:

  • Unfair Dismissal and Disciplinary Proceedings
  • Maternity and Paternity Rights
  • Discrimination
  • Redundancy
  • Applications to employment tribunals
  • Any other employment disputes

Watch Our Video

Katie Ash - Understanding Settlement Agreements

Play video Katie Ash - Understanding Settlement Agreements

Employment expert Katie Ash discusses exactly what a Settlement Agreement is.

97% of our clients would recommend us to a friend
(Ongoing Client Survey)

Very professional and showed empathy throughout.

Mr B, Walton

We have used Banner Jones for employment advice for over 20 years and the team have always found the best approach to resolve our problem

Mr. Richard Kay, Operations Manager, Stagecoach East Midlands

Professional yet personal & understanding. Excellent service

Mr P, Chesterfield

Katie is understanding, considerate and very kind and thoughtful in her manner.

Mrs L, Old Tupton

Extremely pleasant and friendly receptionist. My intention was to ring around several solicitors to get quotes, but after speaking to receptionist was happy to book an appointment.

Mrs M, Old Tupton

Banner Jones were really helpful, friendly and professional. Would definitely recommend and would not hesitate in using again.

Mrs C, Chesterfield

Straightforward explanation of each section of the settlement agreement with ample opportunity to ask questions and have “plain English” discussion. An open and friendly, but professional manner was evident from the advisor.

Mr R, Clay Cross

It was a real pleasure to meet with Katie Ash; she made my “getting legal advice” simple, straightforward with compassion yet professional.

Mr P, Rise Park

We’re really grateful for the work you did for us. 10 out of 10!

Mr & Mrs S, Bridlington

Very easy to make appointments, very personal service from all people at Banner Jones, my solicitor was very friendly and put me at ease. If I needed a solicitor again, Banner Jones would be the first on my list.

Mr C, Dronfield

Frequently Asked Questions

Do we have to do anything else in our recruitment adverts?

You need to be able to justify if you are asking for certain levels of experience. Advertising for a bus driver who is safe and has had previous experience is one thing advertising for a bus driver with 10 years’ experience is another. The first option leaves your job advert open for all ages to apply. The second rules out individuals who may be in their early twenties.

 Other points to consider when recruiting new employees:

  • Ensure whoever is interviewing potential employee’s scores interviewees on their skills and competencies as opposed to their age.
  • Although they are not discriminatory themselves consider removing any reference to age on your job application forms.
  • Don’t ask a potential employee for a physical fitness test unless you require them. 

Once you have selected an appropriate employee ensure managers and staff are trained to monitor and avoid any discriminatory behaviour. Also make sure it is clear within any policies you have that discrimination in any form is unacceptable. Ensure managers are fully trained in diversity issues and that they are able to deal with discriminatory issues that arise within the workplace.

Do we need to worry about these requirements if we employ people in their 50’s and 60’s?

Yes you need to be aware of these requirements if you employ anyone of any age. They affect every area of employment as well as the recruitment and selection process. The requirements not only make it unlawful to discriminate on the grounds of age but also harassment whether it be intentional or unintentional or to victimise an individual. 

You need to worry not only about your own actions but also your fellow employees who must be discouraged from making offensive or unkind comments about age or anything in between.

 As with other areas of discrimination if your employee can demonstrate that there has been a difference in treatment which is due to discrimination it is solely down to you the employer to show otherwise or for you to prove that you have done everything in your power to stop such discrimination. There are no limits to discrimination awards and often they include an aspect for suffering, failure to do so can be expensive. 


How does age discrimination requirements effect the recruitment process?

When you are recruiting employees you need to ensure you are not discriminating for or against anyone due to their age. This means you cannot advertise specific age requirements in any of your job adverts unless you can justify them.

What are the conditions of age discrimination?

In 2011 legislation new legislation was introduced making it unlawful to treat anyone differently due to their age except if it could be justified or falls within one of the exemptions to the law. The retirement age of 65 has now been phased out meaning employers can now only forcibly retire workers if it can be justified.  


What year did the requirements of age discrimination come into effect?

The Employment Equality (Age) Regulations came into effect in October 2006. The retirement age of 65 was phased out between April 2011 and October 2011.

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