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Compromise agreements and the Equality Act 2010
Compromise agreements can be useful tools to settle all sorts of employment claims. A well drafted compromise agreement will cover every conceivable claim an employee could bring (usually excluding personal injury and pension claims). Compromise agreements are very strictly governed by a mixture of statute and case law.
When the Equality Act came into force there was, on the face of it, a drafting error which seemed to suggest that claims under the Equality Act couldn’t be compromise in this way. In the legal world there was much arguing between lawyers involving pitched battles by blog and twitter and letters were written to the Ministry of Justice. In the aftermath, lawyers quickly devised various ways around the issue and amended their agreements. But the risk remained.
Finally, the light has been seen and government have laid the Equality Act (Amendment) Order 2012 before Parliament which amends the offending wording.
Employers and lawyers can at last rest more easily.