Conciliation comes first — Acas and Employment Tribunals

On 6 April 2014, a new Acas conciliation scheme will come into operation in an attempt to further reduce the number of claims reaching the Employment Tribunal. The aim is to try and encourage employees to resolve workplace problems before resorting to legal proceedings.

In practice, it will mean that the employee will not be able to bring a claim to the Employment Tribunal without first contacting Acas about the dispute. Acas will then explain how it may be able to help resolve the issues. The decision is then left to the employee, who can either accept or reject the offer of conciliation. If accepted, the employer is contacted and again the offer of conciliation can be either accepted or rejected. The process of conciliation needs both parties to agree. If either one rejects it, then Acas issues a certificate to the employee that then allows them to bring the tribunal proceedings.

For the first month the scheme will be optional, but from 6 May 2014 it will be compulsory as new claims will not be accepted by the Employment Tribunal without the Acas certificate…

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