Examination of Witnesses

Part of Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 4:45 pm on 19th June 2012.

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Photo of Julian Smith Julian Smith Conservative, Skipton and Ripon 4:45 pm, 19th June 2012

With all due respect, you are so living in a parallel universe on what small businesses in this country need. You can come to Skipton and Ripon any day you want and I will introduce you to risk takers who definitely need this burden lifted. Can I clarify very clearly the points you made about settlement agreements? To summarise, you are all positive about settling pre-tribunal, whether through a settlement agreement or through conciliation? As long as that settlement agreement is voluntary and there is no long conversation that could be exempt from lots of legal questions, perhaps in the form of a letter—a voluntary offer—that is fine? As long as there is no predetermined compensation you would be happy? As long as at the end of the day there is a compromise agreement where there is legal representation on both sides you would feel on balance, even though you do not love settlement agreements, even though you will never think they are the panacea that we need, you are all okay with them? Could I go through with you one by one whether that is the case?