Compromise agreements under the Equality Act 2010

You may not have noticed, but there was a right old furore over the drafting of s147 of the Equality Act 2010, which if interpreted one way meant that an employee could not compromise any claims arising under the Equality Act 2010 – i.e. all discrimination claims. In short, the drafting could be read to say that the lawyer advising the (ex)employee on the compromise agreement could never be independent, so the compromise would not be valid.

Whilst it was, well, blatantly obvious that no Tribunal would reach that conclusion, lawyers made a huge fuss over it, to the extent that two top employment law QCs couldn’t agree, although DBIS insisted there wasn’t any problem; which of course there wasn’t.
Well, the Government has now fixed the non-existent problem, with the Equality Act 2010 (Amendment) Order 2012, which comes into force on 6th April 2012. It amends the offending section 147 to remove the (non-existent) controversy. That’s that then.