An EAT case has provided guidance on the issue of deciding whether a settlement has been concluded through ACAS.

The parties in the case had agreed the amount they would settle the claim for with the help of ACAS, but had not agreed other terms, such as that the settlement was subject to agreement of the wording of a COT3. The EAT held that the parties had reached a binding settlement, despite the fact that there were still terms to be agreed. The EAT ruled that it is only necessary for the essentials of a contract to be agreed, which could be no more than the sum of money to be paid. As such, the parties did not have to enter into a compromise agreement to make the settlement enforceable and the claimant could not pursue his claim for unfair dismissal. However, it is best practice to ensure you have a binding settlement by seeking confirmation from ACAS, if there is any reason for doubt.

Allma Construction v Bonner