It is called “protected”, because the existence of this interaction with your employer (whether verbally or in writing), cannot be used or disclosed in any subsequent tribunal proceedings, and so remains completely confidential.
Who can attend a protected conversation?
Many employers have a policy on protected conversations that allows staff to bring a companion. We recommend that you should at least ask to be accompanied at the meeting. However, if your employer won’t allow it, then you should attend alone if you feel able to.
What is the difference between a protected conversation and without prejudice?
So, what is the difference between a protected conversation and a ‘without prejudice’ conversation? A protected conversation is held when there is no existing dispute. If there is an existing dispute then you hold a ‘without prejudice’ discussion.
Does an employee have to agree to a protected conversation?
An employee is not obliged to enter into a settlement agreement. Equally an employee does not have to accept the terms initially proposed by an employer. There can be a process of negotiation during which both parties make proposals and counter proposals until an agreement is reached, or not, as the case may be.
When can you have a without prejudice conversation?
The without prejudice principle only covers situations where there has been an existing dispute between the two sides. You cannot simply use without prejudice conversation to offer an employee a financial reward for leaving the company.
How do you respond to a protected conversation?
If the Protected Conversation has been sprung on you without warning, the best response is to say as little as possible and take full and detailed notes of what is being put to you. This would include any comments about why your employer wants to start a Protected Conversation to end your employment.
What is a protected conversation?
A “protected conversation” gives your employer the right to enter into off-the-record conversations with you (without there being an existing dispute), and where a proposal can be made leading to the termination of your employment.
Is a without prejudice conversation confidential?
Discussions held during a PTN can be treated as confidential even where there is no current employment dispute, or where one or more of the parties is unaware that there is an employment problem.
When can a settlement agreement be used?
A settlement agreement is usually used in connection with ending the employment, but it doesn’t have to be. A settlement agreement could also be used where the employment is ongoing, but both parties want to settle a dispute that has arisen between them.
What is an off the record conversation?
A conversation that is unofficial, and not to be disclosed or reported. However, the phrase confers no legal protection. An employer having an off the record conversation runs the risk that what is said, perhaps an admission is made, could be used by an employee as evidence supporting a claim.
Are conversations with HR confidential UK?
HR people aren’t doctors or priests; there’s no confidentiality statute and you shouldn’t assume confidentiality when talking to them, even if you’re at lunch. Even if you’re talking to them when you run into them at the grocery store over the weekend.
How do you approach a settlement agreement discussion?
Explain to the employee that you are proposing to offer them a settlement with a view to ending their employment amicably. Tell them any financial settlement you are proposing and also explain any other elements of the offer which are relevant, such as a reference, or no requirement for them to work out their notice.
Are discussions with ACAS without prejudice?
All negotiations conducted through Acas are without prejudice and confidential. If there is a dispute, however, about the effective date of termination (EDT) in pre-termination discussions, then the content of these discussions may be admissible in evidence to determine the date of termination.
What happens in a without prejudice meeting?
A without prejudice meeting allows both employer and employee to have an “off the record” meeting, the content of which cannot be relied upon in an employment tribunal at a later date. The meeting can be initiated by either employee or employer at any stage where there appears to be a dispute.
Can I be accompanied to a without prejudice meeting?
However, the ACAS Code further states that it is good practice for an employee to be allowed to be accompanied by a work colleague or trade union representative at such meetings. … If the employee is still willing to engage in the conversation, the employer should explain the key terms of the proposed settlement.
Can you negotiate a without prejudice offer?
Generally, if your employer wishes to open negotiations about terminating your contract on a without prejudice basis, they will either call you to a without prejudice meeting or ask in a meeting if you can speak on a without prejudice basis.