ACAS Early Conciliation is an important stage in the process of bringing an Employment Tribunal claim. However, at Lincs Law we find that a lot of our clients are unaware of this important step and what is required of them. Please read on for further information.
What is ACAS Early Conciliation?
If you want to bring an Employment Tribunal claim against you employer, the first step is to commence ACAS Early Conciliation. ACAS Early Conciliation is a mandatory process that you must go through before you can bring a claim to the Employment Tribunal.
The aim of ACAS Early Conciliation is to try and resolve the dispute between you and your employer without the need for further claims to be brought in the Employment Tribunal. ACAS will assign you a Conciliation Officer, whose role it is to mediate between you and your employer with a view to obtaining a settlement.
Can I Commence ACAS Early Conciliation?
Yes. The process is free of charge and can be conducted by employees.
You will need to complete an online form in which you provide details about yourself, your employer and the employment claim you intend to bring. It is important that you correctly identify who your employer is when you complete the form. You should check your wage slips and contract of employment to ensure you correctly identifies your employer.
Once you have submitted your form, you will be contacted by your Conciliation Officer. They may ask some additional questions about your claim before contacting your employer to start the mediation process.
Are There Time Scales for Starting ACAS Early Conciliation?
There are strict timescales for commencing the ACAS Early Conciliation process and it is very important that you comply with these timescales.
You have three months less one day from the date of dismissal / last act of discrimination to start ACAS Early Conciliation. For example:
- If you are dismissed on the 05 August 2021, you will have to start ACAS Early Conciliation by the 04 November 2021
- If you are being discriminated against and the last incident or act of discrimination took place on the 30 June 2021, you will have to start ACAS Early Conciliation by 29 September 2021.
The timescale applies even if you are waiting on your employer to complete an internal process such as an appeal or grievance process. If you are going through an appeal or grievance process and you are nearing the three-month deadline, it is important to start ACAS Early Conciliation to protect your position.
What Happens If the Parties cannot Reach an Agreement Under ACAS Early Conciliation?
If the Conciliation Officer is unable to facilitate an agreement, or if one party refuses to participate, then they will provide you with an ACAS Early Conciliation Certificate Number.
Once you have been provided with your ACAS Early Conciliation Certificate Number, you will then be able to submit your claim in the Employment Tribunal.
The Employment Tribunal will not accept your claim if you have not gone through the ACAS Early Conciliation process, therefore, it is very important you keep this Certificate Number safe as if you decide to proceed to the Employment Tribunal you will need this number to lodge your claim.
Lincs Law Employment Solicitors Can Help You
If you have any questions concerning ACAS Early Conciliation or how to start an Employment Tribunal claim, please do not hesitate to contact us for a free, no obligation, initial phone call on 01522 440512. For more information on the services we offer, please see our website: https://lincslaw.co.uk/services/employees/
Specialist Employment Solicitor
Lincs Law Employment Solicitors