Veale Wasbrough Vizards

Procedural requirement changes to Acas early conciliation

By Sarah Want

The mandatory Acas early conciliation (EC) regime came into force on 6 April 2014. For those claimants lodging claims on or after 6 May 2014, it will be compulsory to follow the EC process prior to submitting a claim. Failure to do so will mean any claim will be rejected. Prior to this date, transitional provisions apply, namely that the EC process will only commence if the claimant requests it.

The conciliation period commences on the date that the claimant provides the required information (the name and address of both the claimant and the respondent) to Acas. During this period, the clock stops with regard to time limits for lodging an employment tribunal claim. The EC process will come to an end if the Acas conciliation officer (CO) believes there is no reasonable prospect of achieving conciliation, if either party refuses to conciliate or withdraws from the process or if discussions fail. The CO will then issue an EC certificate and the clock will restart.

It is important to note that while the potential respondent to a claim can also instigate the EC procedure, it will not have the effect of stopping the clock for the purpose of the claimant’s limitation period…

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