Settling claims- can a claim for victimisation be brought after an ACAS COT3 agreement has been signed?

No, not if the COT3 agreement has been sufficiently and broadly drafted as shown in the recent case of Arvunescu v Quick Release (Automotive) Ltd

Facts of the case:

  • The employee, Mr Arvunescu, worked for his employer, Quick Release (Automotive) Ltd, for a month prior to his dismissal in 2014.
  • After the termination of his employment, he brought a race discrimination against his employer.
  • In 2018, both parties entered into an ACAS COT 3 agreement which settled the claims that Mr Arvunescu had against his employers.
  • One of the terms of the COT 3 agreement included, settling all claims which he “has or may have” against the company “arising directly or indirectly out of or in connection with” his employment.
  • Following the conclusion of this agreement, Mr Arvunescu brought a victimisation claim against his former employer as he alleged that they were responsible for him being unsuccessful for a job with a subsidiary owned by his former employer. This happened before he signed his COT 3 agreement.
  • He believed that he had been victimised as a result of him bringing a race discrimination claim.
  • The Employment Tribunal and Employment Appeal Tribunal held that the COT3 prevented Mr Arvunescu from bringing a victimisation claim.
  • What did the Court of Appeal say?

    The Court of Appeal agreed with the Employment Tribunal and Employment Appeal Tribunal. The claim arose “indirectly […] in connection with the Claimant’s employment”. His victimisation claim existed at the time he signed the agreement as the events that the victimisation claim related to occurred before he signed the COT3 agreement. Therefore this victimisation claim was deemed settled via the COT3 agreement and the claim was dismissed.

    What does this mean for employers?

    This case indicates that, provided COT3 terms are drafted in a sufficient broad manner, if events relating to employment claims exist at the time of signing the COT 3 agreement, this can be settled regardless of whether the claimant concerned  are aware of the existing claim at the time of signing the agreement.

    It is always important to take legal advice when settling claims to ensure that no further claims can be brought as far as possible.

    If you have any employment law queries on this case or generally, please contact a member of our multi-award winning Employment Team on 0330 191 043.



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