Early Conciliation was announced as part of the Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Act 2013, will be available from April 2014 and for some types of employment claim, a required step from 6th May 2014.
This means that Acas is able to offer Early Conciliation to help to settle the dispute without going to an Employment Tribunal. The option to go to an ET remains (once a certificate has been issued by Acas) and for the period of the conciliation, the time limits are suspended until the certificate is issued by Acas.
Acas have launched a leaflet that covers how a request for Early Conciliation is made, how Early Conciliation can help, how long it lasts, what happens if conciliation is successful and what happens if an agreement isn’t reached during the process. You can download the leaflet here (no registration required).
What type of issues can Acas Early Conciliation help resolve?
Early Conciliation will help resolve the majority of workplace disputes including:
- unfair dismissal claims
- workplace discrimination
- redundancy payments or disputes around selection procedures
- deductions from wages or unpaid notice/holiday pay
- rights to time off or flexible working
- equal pay.
Note, the scheme does not apply to cases that are to go before a Civil or High Court. There mediation is recommended and at a separate cost.
Some key facts about our new Early Conciliation service:
Early Conciliation is a free service which can help you avoid the stress, cost and anxiety of an employment tribunal.
Both parties will have up to a calendar month initially in which to explore resolving their dispute using the services of an Acas conciliator.
Trained conciliators will not take sides or make judgements, they’ll simply try to help both sides come to an agreement. They have the Acas track record of success and get great feedback from the people they help.
If a resolution can not be found then, a certificate is issued following which the parties may choose to go to a Tribunal.