Clerk's note on former employee settlement agreements

02 May 2018

As referenced by Mr. Speaker in the House of Commons Chamber on Tuesday 2 May 2018, below is the note on former employee settlement agreements by David Natzler, Clerk of the House of Commons:

The agreement between the House of Commons and Angus Sinclair made in June 2010 followed the standard form of what was then termed a settlement agreement under the Employment Rights Act 1996. This is not what is known more widely as a “non-disclosure agreement”. In particular it does not in any way seek to prevent disclosure of facts on public interest grounds – whistle-blowing.

Under such a standard agreement the employee accepts the terms of an offer of compensation for loss of office in full and final settlement of any potential claims arising out of his employment or its termination, with certain statutory savings such as subsequently discovered personal injury. The employee also agrees to refrain from instituting any complaint against the employer before an employment tribunal in respect of any claim that the employer dismissed him unfairly or subjected him to any detriment on any ground as at the date of the agreement. The employee must receive independent legal advice on the agreement, which the employer usually pays for.

Both sides agree to make no public statement or comment relating to the employee’s service or his departure from such service, except in the terms of a statement agreed by both parties. The actual agreement is of course confidential between the House and Mr Sinclair.

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