Acas Early Conciliation
Since the 6 May 2014 it is mandatory to try and solve most workplace disputes through the ACAS Early Conciliation service before a claim can be brought in the Employment Tribunal.
The role of ACAS in this process is to create a dialogue between the two parties so that a settlement can be reached without incurring the cost of Tribunal proceedings.
The Early Conciliation period lasts for one month, which can be extended by up to two weeks if a settlement is near. When this period has expired and an agreement has not been reached, the claimant will be issued with the Early Conciliation Reference Number which is required in order to issue Tribunal proceedings. Any negotiations that have taken place between the parties cannot be referred to in the Tribunal proceedings.
The role of the ACAS conciliator is to talk through the issues with the parties, explain the options available to them and outline the procedure that has to be followed. The conciliator will not negotiate the terms of an agreement on behalf of an employee or advise them on the merits of their claim. Therefore, it is a good idea to consider legal representation during conciliation so that any settlement reached is suitable in relation to your dispute.
If you have any queries about ACAS Early Conciliation or need help with negotiating the terms of a settlement please do not hesitate to contact Just Employment on 01483 303636.