The EAT provides further clarity on Early Conciliation.

legalbooks300x200The Employment Appeal Tribunal has provided clarity on the requirements for Early Conciliation and the discretion available to an Employment Tribunal under its general case management powers.

Since April 2014, with limited exceptions, potential Employment Tribunal claimants have been required to contact ACAS with regard to Early Conciliation before proceeding with their claim.  A claim may only be lodged once a certificate has been issued by ACAS.

At the preliminary hearing of the case the Employment Tribunal agreed to Mills’ request to amend their ET1 to include a claim for victimisation.  It was claimed that the protected act was issuing an ET1 and that the employer’s ET3 contained new information which indicated the she had been victimised because of this.

The EAT held that a new Early Conciliation did not need to be entered into as the matter was a connected claim.  This broad approach was deemed to be acceptable and to fall within the Employment Tribunal’s general case management powers.

Approximately a third of Early Conciliation’s reach an ACAS COT 3 settlement, and ACAS claim that around 79% of claimants and 86% of respondents are satisfied with service.   Early conciliation can be a useful tool for both parties, and an opportunity to close previous disciplinary or grievance matters before entering into the inevitable costly commitment needed for an employment tribunal.

Jim Taylor LLM – 26 January 2016

The opinion given in this article is for general information only and is intended to illustrate and highlight themes which may affect employers and their employees. It should not be taken as specific advice on any situation or the appropriate course of action for any particular company or employer. Should you wish to discuss a similar situation or any other matter please contact Ascent HR Limited. ©Ascent HR Limited.

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