Q&As

Is it possible for an individual to unilaterally waive a statutory right (eg the right to holiday pay) without entering into a settlement agreement?

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Published on LexisPSL on 06/09/2019

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

  • Is it possible for an individual to unilaterally waive a statutory right (eg the right to holiday pay) without entering into a settlement agreement?

Is it possible for an individual to unilaterally waive a statutory right (eg the right to holiday pay) without entering into a settlement agreement?

Almost all claims that may be brought in an 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, the Trade Union and Labour Relations (Consolidation) Act 1992 and the Equality Act 2010. They are designed to protect claimants (or potential claimants) by preventing them from signing away their right to bring or pursue a claim under a settlement agreement without adequate safeguards having been observed.

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

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