In the case of Giny v SNA Transport Limited, the Claimant issued claims in the Employment Tribunal against his former employer.  Prior to this, Mr Giny submitted an Acas early conciliation notification form stating that his employer was Mr S N Ahmed and the prospective respondent (rather than Mr Ahmed’s company who was his actual employer).  Acas duly issued an Acas early conciliation certificate with the information Mr Giny had provided.

Mr Giny sought legal advice before issuing his claims at the Employment Tribunal and prepared his ET1 Claim Form with the correct company name as the Respondent.

The Employment Judge rejected Mr Giny’s claim on the basis that the difference between the name on the Acas certificate and the name on the ET1 Claim Form was not a minor error.  The Claimant applied for the judgment to be reconsidered on the basis that the decision was not in the interests of justice and that the discrepancy was a “minor error”.  The Respondent’s position was that the name of a natural person and a company could never be a “minor error”.  The Claimant’s application was rejected and the Claimant appealed.

The Employment Appeal Tribunal upheld the Employment Tribunal’s decision that it did not have jurisdiction to accept the claim where the name of the prospective respondent on the Early Conciliation certificate differed to the name of the respondent on the ET1 Claim Form.  The Tribunal had been entitled to find that the difference between the name of an individual and name of a limited company was not minor meaning that it could not overlook the discrepancy under the Employment Tribunal Rules.

This case is an important reminder to Claimants to ensure that they provide accurate information to Acas during the early conciliation process to avoid claims being rejected by the Tribunal.

It is important for Claimants to take legal advice before commencing the Acas early conciliation process to ensure they understand the process and avoid any mistakes.  Important reasons are as follows:

  • To advise you on prospects of success with your claims and likely value at the outset. Without knowing this, you cannot know what you might be prepared to settle for during the early conciliation process.

  • To ensure that you submit the early conciliation notification form in time

  • To ensure that the early conciliation form is correctly completed to avoid claims being rejected by the Employment Tribunal

  • To advise you tactically on when is the best time to submit the Acas early conciliation form

  • To conduct the negotiations on your behalf to achieve the best outcome possible if the dispute is able to be settled through Acas early conciliation

  • If Acas early conciliation does not settle the dispute, to advise you on next steps and the time limit to issue any claims in the employment tribunal following receipt of the Acas early conciliation certificate.

If you require any advice on the early conciliation process, please contact Farleys’ employment law and HR department on 0845 287 0939 or submit your enquiry through our online contact form. Our experienced solicitors can provide comprehensive legal advice tailored to your situation.