What is a COT3 Agreement
Employees who wish to accept the discretionary implementation payment offered by the Authority will sign a COT 3 agreement. A COT3/ compromise agreement is a legal document signed by an employee and employer. By signing the employee agrees to waive identified employment rights. The agreement will be explained to employees and no pressure will be brought to bear on those who decide not to sign. Employees will be offered an opportunity to seek impartial advice via ACAS before deciding whether they wish to sign the agreement. Alternatively, an employee can seek independent legal advice or speak to organisations, such as Citizens Advice Bureau.
Will a COT3 Agreement affect current equal pay claims?
Signing a single status COT3 does not affect any historical equal pay claim lodged during the period July 2001 to 31 March 2011. Any employee who has an equal pay claim lodged should seek advice from their legal representative prior to signing the agreement
Can a plain English version be placed on the intranet with guidance
This is a legal document and any change to the wording would compromise the document. Employees can also seek advice independently. As part of the signing days the employee will have access to ACAS conciliators, Trade Union Representatives and HR. No pressure would be placed on the employee to sign a COT3 agreement.
What rights are being waived and will this affect staff adversely in the future.
If an employee has not already lodged an equal pay claim than s/he will not be able to bring any claims for Equal Pay retrospectively to 10 July 2001 and prospectively up to and including 1 April 2016.
If an employee has a pre-existing equal pay claim then the individual will be waiving future equal pay claims from 1 April 2011 to 1 April 2016. The employees historical equal pay claim can continue through to Employment Tribunal.
Process not clear on next steps if staff don’t sign COT3
The employee would not be eligible for any implementation payments offered on their SPI form(s) without signing the COT3 agreement.
Waiver of legal rights including equal pay. What is the definition of ‘and related claims’ and could I have a comprehensive list of these claims.
The COT3’s are currently being finalised but currently the waiver includes rights to make an equal pay claim retrospectively to June 2001 and forward to 1 April 2016, claims under Sex Discrimination and Equality Act, breach of contract, unlawful deduction of wages and adjustment to awards made under the Employment Act. If an employee wants to access the discretionary element of the package then on acceptance of the new terms and conditions a specimen COT3 will be forwarded to the employee and s/he will be offered an opportunity of seeking impartial advice via ACAS to explain the waivers before any decision is taken on signing the agreement.
I currently have a permanent contract of employment, I understand these new terms and supersede all previous contracts, will they also constitute a permanent contract?
If you currently have a permanent contract then your status will remain unchanged
Can I clarify whether Soulbury Officers who are outside of Job Evaluation but affected by the harmonised Terms and Conditions of Services will be offered a COT3 agreement in addition to the Single Status Implementation T and C Acceptance Form please?
Soulbury are outside the Job Evaluation process but are affected by elements of the changes to terms and conditions, ie. Essential car user allowance, mileage rate, Long Service Award and changing 2 extra statutory days converted to annual leave. The reason for this is that for these particular terms and conditions the Soulbury contract refers to NJC terms and conditions which are changing. Soulbury staff are not eligible for any of the discretionary implementation payments as they are not affected by job evaluation or the full extent of changes to terms and conditions.
If an employee signs the COT3 agreement are they agreeing to a pay freeze until 2016?
No, any nationally agreed pay increases would still apply.