Is the Equality Act floored by a flaw?

The recently introduced Equality Act seems to have a flaw according to some employment lawyers and the Law Society. They say that under the new Act it's impossible to reach a compromise agreement. For the (hopefully) uninitiated, a compromise agreement is a legally binding document that allows an em

The recently introduced Equality Act seems to have a flaw according to some employment lawyers and the Law Society. They say that under the new Act it's impossible to reach a compromise agreement.

For the (hopefully) uninitiated, a compromise agreement is a legally binding document that allows an employee to settle a claim with an employer in exchange for agreeing to not take any further action.

The flaw in the Act requires that a lawyer advising an employee is independent. However, the way the independent advisor is defined (section 147(5)(d)) means that it excludes anyone acting for a party involved in the agreement - such as the aforesaid advising lawyer.

The solution? Take good advice first before drawing up an agreement or even better, use ACAS to mediate.



This was first published in November 2010

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