The Court of Appeal has upheld the EAT in the case of McWilliam v Glasgow City Council UKEATS/0036/10 as to the statutory requirements of a compromise agreement under what is now s147 Equality Act 2010. A discrimination claim can only be compromised and settled under the auspices of ACAS or by way of a statutory compromise agreement.
In this case, the employers wished to negotiate a settlement of potential equal pay clams with thousands of employees and, in order that the settlement should comply with what is now s147, set up a panel of local solicitors to act as advisors to the employees. The question was whether the employees had 'received advice' from 'independent advisors'.
The Court of Appeal has confirmed that the advisors were independent and that, by law, they were only required to advise as to the terms and effect of the compromise agreement. The EAT was correct to say that the scope of the advice provided on any compromise agreement could be dictated by the information provided by the employer. Point to note –
- This case was not concerned with the problematic wording of s147(5)(d) which is a separate issue on which we will be happy to advise.