Confidentiality terms in Compromise Agreements, the legal documents commonly used when an employment contract is brought to an end, have come in for heavy criticism recently. What are these “gagging clauses” all about, and might there be scope for a simple reform?
Step back just over twenty years, and we find that the right to make a claim in the Employment Tribunal was virtually sacrosanct. Employers who genuinely wanted to settle disputes could not do so without the risk of a claim, which would waste further time and costs even if the outcome for the employee might be academic or Pyrrhic. ACAS could assist up to a point in claim avoidance, but the process was cumbersome.