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Equality North East

Lawyers say compromise agreements 'unenforceable' under Equality Act

Employment lawyers have expressed concern at ambiguities in the Equality Act, which came in to force this month, that could have far-reaching implications for the use of compromise agreements between employers and employees.

Section 147 of the Act sets out the requirements needed to have a qualifying compromise contract to settle claims arising under the Act. One of these is that the complainant must receive advice from an "independent adviser" about its terms and effect. However, this means that a solicitor who was instructed by the employee prior to the production of the final agreement for consideration will be precluded from acting any further.

The Law Society released a statement yesterday indicating that, "a solicitor who was instructed by the employee prior to the production of the final contract for consideration; or who has acted in any way for the employee during the course of his complaint - even in a supporting role to the lead adviser perhaps as holiday cover - will be precluded from acting any further as an independent legal adviser in that compromise contract."

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November 2, 2010

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