In May 2014, in an attempt to simplify the Tribunal system and make it more efficient, the Government imposed a duty on claimants to attempt early conciliation through Acas before bringing a claim. A recent report provides information about the impact of Acas Early Conciliation in its first year.
The Early Conciliation Process
The Acas Early Conciliation process (“EC”) was introduced by the Government on 6 April 2014, and became mandatory from 6 May 2014. All prospective claimants in the Employment Tribunal must now go through the EC process and obtain an EC certificate from Acas before bringing a claim.
Once the prospective claimant contacts Acas, a Conciliation Officer will explore over the period of one month, whether settlement is possible between the parties. If a party is not interested in settlement, or if the Conciliation Offer considers that settlement is not possible, an EC certificate will be issued to the claimant. Neither party is obliged to conciliate.