‘Did you know…?’ — 2014 employment law changes

With the new financial year upon us, employers should take note of employment law changes that may affect future workforce costs and liabilities. Anthony Collins Solicitors explains what’s new.

From 6 May 2014, a new system will be introduced requiring anyone intending to issue an Employment Tribunal claim to engage in pre-claim conciliation first.

Under the new scheme, before an employee, i.e. a prospective claimant, brings a claim in the Employment Tribunal, they will be required to contact ACAS and complete an early conciliation form lodging details of their dispute. An ACAS early conciliation support officer will then discuss the complaint with the prospective claimant and see whether they do want to engage in early conciliation. A similar conversation will take place with the employer, i.e. a prospective respondent. If early conciliation is declined by either the prospective claimant or the respondent, a certificate will be issued by ACAS, called the Early Conciliation Certificate, confirming that conciliation has been explored. Once that is issued, it enables the individual to proceed to issue their claim. However, if both parties do want to engage in early conciliation, the ACAS conciliation officer will assist with this for a period of one month. The period of one month can be extended by a further two weeks if the conciliation officer believes that there is a reasonable prospect of settling the claim and both parties agree to the extension. If the conciliation officer concludes at any point during the early conciliation that settlement is not possible, or if the conciliation period expires without a settlement being reached, ACAS will issue the Early Conciliation Certificate again, enabling the individual to proceed to issue their claim…

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