Education establishments may be familiar with “settlement agreements”, which are legally binding contracts which can be used to end an employment relationship on agreed terms. They can often be useful to prevent progress via normal procedures from becoming protracted, or in cases where the preference is that an employee’s employment is ended even though education establishments may not necessarily be at a stage of proceedings where a fair dismissal would result.
Because breaches of safeguarding rules must be reported to the Local Authority Designated Officer and there is a duty to reach and record a conclusion wherever possible, the DfE’s “Keeping Children Safe in Education” statutory guidance for schools and Colleges insists that settlement agreements must not be used in cases that have any safeguarding implications, even if an employee proposes to resign before or during a disciplinary process.
What does this mean for me?
- Always take advice on the use of settlement agreements from your Business Partner
- Fair dismissal procedures should always be used in these cases
- This can make the process longer, however, could save you money.
For more information, contact our Education Advice Service.