ACAS Early Conciliation was implemented in spring 2014 further to the Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Act 2013. It is a process that can allow for exploration and facilitation of a settlement of an employment dispute.

It is mandatory for an employee/Claimant to have used ACAS Early Conciliation if he/she wishes to bring an employment claim in the Employment Tribunal as an employment claim (and ET1) cannot be accepted by the Tribunal system without evidence of this process being complied with and the requisite certificate number.

ACAS has recently published its research paper on the effect of its conciliation process in Employment Tribunal claims.

Interesting information in the report includes the reasons given of Claimant’s withdrawing their employment cases:

  • 27% said that they thought they would not win or that it would be a waste time
  • 20% said that the Employment Tribunal fees (presumably the hearing fees) were off-putting
  • 17% said they found the process too stressful

This is interesting information about the reasons for some employees withdrawing their claims and serves to highlight the benefit of the ACAS early conciliation process. It could however also be the case that some employees may be less satisfied with the ACAS service than employers because their opinion is very much linked to the outcome in their own case.

There remains a misconception by employers that engaging in an ACAS early conciliation shows weakness or that a business is then compelled to enter a settlement one way or another.   This is not the case.

Farleys are experts in dealing with ACAS Early Conciliation for employers and can provide advice and guidance on how it works in practice.

Our team can also represent your business and engage in all the early conciliation dialogue with an employee/claimant and ACAS from start to finish.

Most importantly, our HR and employment law team know how to use and manipulate the ACAS early conciliation mechanism to a particular client’s advantage.

It is these skills and knowledge that are fundamental to being ahead of the game with an employment dispute.

For more information about ACAS early conciliation, please contact Farleys HR and Employment law team on 0845 287 0939 or by email.