Q&As

Could a third party (who is not a party to any employment tribunal proceedings) be a party to a COT3 agreement to allow for enforcement against that third party in the event of default by an employer?

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Published on LexisPSL on 13/05/2021

The following Employment Q&A provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Could a third party (who is not a party to any employment tribunal proceedings) be a party to a COT3 agreement to allow for enforcement against that third party in the event of default by an employer?
  • Acas-conciliated (COT3) agreements
  • Enforcement
  • Form of COT3

Could a third party (who is not a party to any employment tribunal proceedings) be a party to a COT3 agreement to allow for enforcement against that third party in the event of default by an employer?

Acas-conciliated (COT3) agreements

Almost all claims that may be brought in the employment tribunal derive from a jurisdiction created by statutory provisions. Each such set of statutory provisions will include a provision that prevents the parties (or potential parties) to an employment tribunal claim from reaching an agreement that purports to settle the claim and, in so doing, purports to have the effect of ousting the jurisdiction of the employment tribunal to adjudicate upon the dispute. These provisions are usually referred to as 'contracting-out provisions', and they appear in similar form in a wide variety of employment legislation, eg in the Employment Rights Act 1996 (ERA 1996).

The contracting-out provisions work by imposing a basic rule that any agreement reached between persons that purports to prevent a person from making, or proceeding with, a claim to an employment tribunal is void to that extent.

However, all such contracting-out provisions provide exceptions to that basic rule. Provided one of the exceptions applies, the claim (or potential claim) can validly be settled between the

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