Early conciliation: the final countdown

Regulations setting out the final details of the ACAS early conciliation scheme have now been published, in time for it to take effect as planned from 6 April 2014.

The scheme will prevent potential claimants from bringing proceedings without making formal contact with ACAS. This rule will apply to the vast majority of claims currently handled by the employment tribunals, although there are some exceptions.

Potential claimants will need to provide their name and address and that of at least one potential respondent to ACAS either by phone or by submitting a form by post or online. That will trigger a conciliation period during which ACAS will have a duty to promote a settlement. If a settlement is not achieved within that period, ACAS must issue a certificate bearing a unique reference number that the claimant will need to supply when commencing proceedings…

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