As from 29 July 2013, employers can now approach employees to have what is known as a ‘protected conversation’ under the Employment Rights Act 1996, so long as they follow set guidelines.  An employer can have a protected conversation at any time with an employee; whether or not  there is an ongoing issue that the employee is aware of. The aim of these conversations ultimately may lead to an offer of a Settlement Agreement, but the protection, if utilised correctly means these conversations cannot later be disclosed at an employment tribunal if a satisfactory resolution is not met.  In this situation it may be the employer has to continue with a Redundancy, disciplinary or poor performance process in order to fairly dismiss an employee.  However, if the guidelines have not been followed and ‘undue pressure’ is placed on an Employee, this may mean these conversations are allowed to be disclosed at a later tribunal hearing resulting potentially in a successful unfair dismissal claim being brought against you.