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What is a “protected conversation”?
A “protected conversation” is a legal mechanism whereby your employer can have a ‘full and frank’ conversation with you about concerns that it has about your employment, and can put forward an offer of settlement, without either party being able to use the fact or contents of that conversation as evidence in an Employment Tribunal.
In order for there to be a protected conversation there must be:
A communication between the employer and the employee about concerns that the employer has about the employee’s performance (for example, relating to the employee’s performance, their conduct, or a period of ill-health absence); and
A settlement offer made by the employer to the employee
The “protected conversation” can be in writing or verbal, although in our experience they tend to be (but are not always) verbal.
In order for a communication to be a protected conversation there must be an offer of settlement put forward; if no offer of settlement is put forward then the communication will not be a protected conversation.
If your employer has had a protected conversation with you then you will normally need to speak to a specialist employment solicitor in order to discuss the settlement offer that is being put forward (and the settlement agreement, if they have already provided that to you).
Redmans Limited is a company registered in England and Wales with registration number 05872980, VAT GB893856068, and registered office Parkshot House, 5 Kew Road, Richmond, TW9 2PR. Settlement Agreement Lawyer is a firm of solicitors authorized and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA number: 468098).