Early Conciliation Advice
From 6th April 2014 a new system of Early Conciliation has been introduced to be managed by ACAS. It means that any Claimant wishing to submit a claim to an Employment Tribunal MUST first of all complete an on line notification form to ACAS to enable conciliation to occur if both the Claimant and the Respondent (employer) agree.
Conciliation is not obligatory but the completion of a notification form is. It will not be possible to submit a claim to an Employment Tribunal without first obtaining from ACAS a certificate number after the submission of a notification form.
It may be that there will be more cases of complaints being raised about employment via the notification form to ACAS where the prospective claimant has no real intention to pursue a claim. This is on the basis that it does not cost anything to submit the notification form, nor does the form require detailed information.
ACAS can guide parties through the process but cannot give legal advice. We can assist employees and employers with conciliation, including an early evaluation of the merits of any purported claim and the likely value if successful – all very important advice to have whether you are a prospective Claimant or Respondent to proceedings.
The advantage of the process is that it enables an early resolution to a problem or potential claim. Therefore, retaining some control over the outcome and keeping any financial consequences to a minimum.