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Practice and procedure: "Without prejudice" discussions admissible

This report relates to 1 case(s)

Key points

In BNP Paribas v Mezzotero the EAT holds:

  • Discussions "without prejudice" between an employer and an employee who had raised a grievance in respect of her treatment on returning from maternity leave, could be relied on by the employee in support of her sex discrimination and victimisation complaints.
  • The "without prejudice" rule that statements made for the purpose of settling a dispute cannot be admissible in evidence had no application here as the parties could not properly be described as being in dispute at the time of the discussions.
  • In the circumstances of this case, the employer's alleged conduct in indicating that it intended to terminate the employee's employment amounted to "unambiguous impropriety" and therefore, fell within an exception to the "without prejudice" rule.