The government has proposed to allow “off the record” talks so that “the boss and a staff member feel able to get together and have an open conversation – at the request of one of the two” (David Cameron`s speech of 10 November 2011). The employer may wish to terminate the employment contract in circumstances where there is no sufficient reason to dismiss fairly. If the worker agrees to leave as part of a settlement agreement, the employer is not likely to be sued in the Labour Court for unfair dismissal or anything else. Ideally, both parties are satisfied and the working relationship is terminated by mutual agreement. A protected conversation may not result in a binding transaction agreement. If the employment relationship were completely satisfactory, there would be absolutely no need for transaction negotiations and protected maintenance. Due to the nature of the situation, it is possible that the protected conversation could give rise to a serious dispute. In the worst case, the employer is brought before the labour court. If your employer is not familiar with the principle of sheltered interviews, you can refer them to the ACAS Guide for Transaction Agreements, which gives them all the information they need. Conversations protected under Section 111A of the Employment Rights Act 1996 are dangerous. Employers rely on the legal protection that sheltered interviews claim to offer, but they are often unaware of the pitfalls.
Workers are often at a serious disadvantage when they are caught by an employer requesting or forcing a sheltered interview to discuss termination of employment. Our experience is that bad employers exploit protected conversations as a way to cover up illegal behavior. Similarly, better-intentioned employers may be open to the rights of the labour court by not understanding the limits of sheltered interviews. Few employees know what protected conversations are. Protected conversations often come from the sky. Employees are often confused by their legal rights and worry about their future. The law allows an employer and an employee to have an “off-the-record” conversation in certain circumstances. This is called a protected conversation. Protected conversations are a new concept introduced in 2013. It provides that an employer who enters into an interview with an employee to terminate his employment relationship under a settlement agreement may do so without the worker being able to rely on the details of the interview as evidence in a dismissal action. .