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Workplace dispute resolution: without prejudice meetings

In light of a recent tribunal ruling, Nicola Clarke and Megan Davies explain when employers can rely on the ‘without prejudice’ rule when holding discussions with staff

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In Garrod v Riverstone Management Ltd, the Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) upheld an earlier employment tribunal (ET) decision that an employee’s grievances for bullying, harassment and maternity discrimination amounted to an ‘existing dispute’. Accordingly, a conversation in which a settlement offer was discussed was judged to have been maintained under the without prejudice rule.

When considering the employee’s claim that the settlement proposal was advanced with a discriminatory motive, the EAT held this did not satisfy the ‘unambiguous impropriety’ exception which could also have rendered the without prejudice rule inapplicable.

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