The worker, Mr Steels, entered into a labour dispute with his former employer, Duchy Farms Kennels Ltd (DFK), for a payment of £15,500 to be paid in 47 monthly instalments per week. The dispute was resolved by a COT3 agreement containing a standard confidentiality clause. This clause required Mr. Steels to keep the fact and conditions of the transaction secret. Subsequently, DFK found that Mr. Steels had disclosed to a former DFK employee the fact and amount of the transaction. If a worker violates a confidentiality clause contained in a COT3 agreement or more often in a settlement agreement, what are the employer`s options? The answer is that it depends on the importance of the clause or the seriousness of the employee`s offense. A recent Supreme Court decision offers a salutary lesson on the need to carefully prepare comparative documents to ensure that the employer receives the best possible protection. In this way, the confidentiality clause is rather considered as a condition of the agreement that gives the employer the right to terminate the contract in the event of a breach if he so wishes. The High Court accepted the County Court and rejected the DFK`s vocation. The Supreme Court said the confidentiality clause was a boilerplate clause.

It has not been expressed as a condition of the agreement, nor are there any signs of attachment to the crucial importance of confidentiality for the employer. It is important that the court came to this conclusion, when COT3 was designed by lawyers and was intended to keep the agreement “strictly confidential” and not just “confidential”. The employee`s breach of a confidentiality clause in a coT3 agreement has not relieved the employer of the obligation to pay further compensation if a solution is found, the Acas conciliator will record what has been agreed on an Acas transaction form, known as COT3. Both parties will sign it as a formal registration of the agreement. However, it is important to know that an agreement becomes binding to the point where both parties confirm their agreement on the terms. This can be done by phone or email. The District Court ruled that the confidentiality clause was not a condition of the COT3 agreement, but an interim period. Since it was not possible to say that Mr Steels had committed a repugnant infringement, DFK remained bound by the contract and had to continue to pay the weekly payments. DFK appealed to the High Court. . . .