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NHS Employers issues compromise agreement guidance

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Lawson-West Solicitors - Expert Author

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16th May 2013

NHS Employers, the body that supports employers within the NHS, has issued guidance on wording compromise agreements appropriately, in light of the ‘gagging clauses’ used by scandal-hit Mid Staffordshire NHS Trust.

The guidance explains how compromise agreements can support both employers and employees when employment ends. It also discusses the use of confidentiality clauses in compromise agreements, stating that they can be used to protect confidential information concerning for example patient records or other staff that an employee has had access to.

Dean Royles, NHS Employers' chief executive, explained: "It is important to be clear that [compromise] agreements help the NHS resolve some issues quickly, in a way that can save money and work well for all parties. These agreements help the NHS and individuals avoid expensive and sometimes acrimonious legal proceedings amounting to millions of pounds every year. The process of approval of these agreements helps ensure value for money."

The guidance document furthermore states that confidentiality clauses should not deter staff from speaking up in the interests of patient safety and care, in accordance with their rights under s.43J of the Employment Rights Act 1996.

All NHS compromise agreements will therefore include a clause clearly stating that nothing in the agreement will prevent an individual whistleblowing in future.


About the Author

Lawson-West specialise in commercial, business and employment law. Our team of dedicated commercial solicitors can help with buying or selling a business, business law and disputes, landlord and tenant issues and commercial property. Our expert employment team can offer practical advice and guidance on all aspects of employment law including redundancy, compromise agreements and dismissal procedures. Visit www.lawson-west.co.uk for more information.

For information on compromise agreements and whistleblowing please contact employment law specialists Ashley Hunt, Vanessa Crookes, Carrie-Ann Randall or Vaishali Thakerar at Lawson-West on 0116 212 1000.



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Article Published/Sorted/Amended on Scopulus 2013-05-21 12:11:23 in Legal Articles

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