The Employment Tribunals (Early Conciliation: Exemptions and Rules of Procedure) Regulations 2014 comes into force on the 6th April 2014 introducing compulsory “early conciliation”, also known as “pre-claim conciliation”.
From 6th April 2014 Claimants must contact ACAS before issuing a claim in the employment tribunal. There is no actual requirement to engage in conciliation however ACAS will offer conciliation.
The rules can be summarised as follows:-
1. Before issuing a claim in the employment tribunal Claimants must either fill in the early conciliation form (this can be done online or by post) or telephone ACAS. Initially, the only information that the Claimant has to give is the Claimant’s name and address and the employer’s name and address.
2. ACAS must then make reasonable efforts to contact the Claimant and if the Claimant consents they must make reasonable efforts to contact the employer.
3. The parties then have one calendar month to try and reach a settlement (although this may be extended by up to 14 days if the parties consent).
4. If a settlement is not reached or the ACAS conciliation officer considers that a settlement is not possible, ACAS must issue an Early Conciliation Certificate. Only then may the Claimant submit claim in the employment tribunal.
5. The Early Conciliation Certificate will contain a certificate number which the Claimant will need to insert on the ET1 claim form.
What about time limits?
The usual time limits stop during the early conciliation period and if the usual time limit for issuing a claim would otherwise have expired during the early conciliation period, the Claimant benefits from a month’s extension of time from the end of the conciliation period.
Hastings & Co Solicitors specialise in all aspects of employment law including disputes. For further advise or assistance please telephone 01245 835 305 without any obligation.
Disclaimer: this blog is only intended to give a brief overview of the law and is not intended as a substitute for independent legal advice.