The Employment Appeal Tribunal has recently delivered their judgement on a claim brought by an employee after a COT3 had been agreed and signed (Arvunescu v Quick Release (Automotive) Ltd  EAT 26). COT3’s are the type of settlement agreements used in Employment Tribunal disputes.
In this case, the COT3 was signed in 2018 to settle a complaint of unfair dismissal and race discrimination against the Respondent. The COT3 including wording that prevented the Claimant from raising any action of any kind which arose out of the Claimant’s employment with the Respondent, either directly or indirectly. The clause went onto state that this included any future claims even though the Claimant may be unaware of the legal basis for such a claim at the time that the COT3 was signed.
Later in 2018, the Claimant then raised an action against the Respondent’s subsidiary company for victimisation, alleging that he had been rejected for a role that he had applied for because of his previous tribunal claim. The Employment Appeal Tribunal that the new claim fell within the scope of the COT3. The Tribunal held that the intended reach of the COT3 waiver was very wide, and that in this case the new action involved an indirect link to the Claimant’s past employment.
The judgement reinforces the importance of understanding the clauses drafted in a COT3 and ensuring that you get the right advice on the future effect of such provisions. If you would like advice from one of our Employment Law solicitors on a COT3 or any other employment settlement agreement, please do not hesitate to contact us today.