Arvunescu v Quick Release (Automotive) Ltd [2022] EWCA Civ 1600

Appeal against a decision that a COT3 signed back in 2018, which prevented the Claimant from bringing any further claims arising directly or indirectly out of or in connection with the Claimant's employment with the Respondent, applied in relation to a failed job application to a subsidiary of the Respondent. Appeal dismissed.

In March 2018, the Claimant and the Respondent signed a COT3 agreement in 2018 which 'accepted in full and final settlement of all or any costs, claims, expenses or rights of action of any kind whatsoever, wheresoever and howsoever arising under common law, statute or otherwise (whether or not within the jurisdiction of the employment tribunal) which the claimant has or may have against the respondent or against any employee, agent or officer of the respondent arising directly or indirectly out of or in connection with the claimant's employment with the respondent, its termination or otherwise.' In May 2018 the Claimant brought a new claim against the Respondent alleging victimisation. He alleged that he had applied in January 2018 for a post with a company (called QRG) based in Germany which was a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Respondent. He was rejected for that post in February 2018. He alleged that he had been victimised as he was refused the post because he had previously brought a claim of race discrimination against the Respondent. He alleged that the Respondent, through its close links with its subsidiary, had been responsible for him not being offered the post. This appeal concerned the question of whether, on a proper interpretation of the COT3 agreement, that claim was within the scope of the settlement agreement so had been settled by that agreement. At a preliminary hearing, the ET held that the claim in the present case fell within the scope of the COT3 agreement and had been settled by the parties and so could not be the subject of proceedings. The EAT upheld that finding and the Claimant appealed.

The Court of Appeal dismissed the appeal. The claim that the Respondent breached section 112 of the 2010 Act did arise indirectly in connection with the Claimant's employment with the Respondent. The claim was, therefore, compromised or settled by the COT3 agreement. The ET was correct therefore to strike out the claim and the EAT was correct to dismiss the appeal on that issue.

Published: 12/12/2022 11:20

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