Acas settlements are legally-binding contracts between the parties to settle actual or potential complaints to the Employment Tribunal.
When a resolution is reached, the Acas conciliator will record what has been agreed on an Acas settlement form, known as a COT3. Both parties will sign this as a formal record of the Agreement. However it is important to know that an Agreement becomes binding at the point both parties confirm to Acas their agreement to the terms. This can be done in a telephone call or by email.
The COT3 is a legally binding enforceable contract, which means that a Tribunal claim cannot be pursued regarding those issue, or, if a Tribunal claim already has been lodged, it will be closed.
A COT3 is usually offered after a prospective claimant has contacted Acas, but it is possible for you as employers to initiate Acas involvement, if you consider that relevant proceedings may be issued against you.
Before involving Acas, you should identify where the risk of any future claim may lie and assess your potential financial liability. It may also be wise to use a COT3 where an ex-gratia payment is being made, as in the case of redundancy. This is to ensure that no further claims for compensation can be made against you and/or your company.
In certain situations, it may be necessary to commence “best practice” procedures such as a formal capability, disciplinary or redundancy process before a COT3 offer is made. This ensures that the matter can be resolved, with minimal financial risk and ensures that if negotiations break down, you have an alternative process in place to complete a fair dismissal.
We offer comprehensive advice service to ensure your business is protected. In the first instance, we will thoroughly explore the background issues. We will work with you to ensure there is no unintentional discrimination in any aspect of your process. We also review any outstanding contractual, redundancy, disciplinary, capability and grievance matters before advising on a suitable settlement sum.
If you have been contacted by Acas about a potential claim or are considering involving them, please contact us. We are more than happy to have a free initial chat with you to point you in the right direction.
Our fees for a well-drafted COT3 Agreement are usually between £500 and £1,000 plus VAT, depending on the complexity and breadth of the issues. For example, whether you are reiterating existing or even introducing new post-termination restrictions to protect your business. In addition, you might be asked to pay a contribution to enable your employee obtain legal advice, usually between £350 and £500 plus VAT.
Where possible, we will offer you a fixed price for a tailor-made Agreement advice package which will include drafting the COT3 and also negotiations with your employee’s legal representative.
We also offer a multiple redundancy Settlement Agreement sign-off service for employers and trade unions. The service offers a professional and efficient way to sign off multiple Settlement Agreements.
If you are an employer and require advice and assistance on any Employment Law matter, we can help. Contact us to find out more on 01273 609911, or email email@example.com to find out more.
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