Early conciliation notification form
If you wish to make a claim in the employment tribunal you must notify Acas using the early conciliation notification form which can be found on the Acas website.
The form only went live yesterday (6th April 2014) and requires the employee to enter both their and their employer’s contact details. Once the form has been completed Acas will aim to contact the employee by the end of the next working day after the form was sent.
The employee will be contacted by an Acas conciliator who will discuss the case and explain what early conciliation involves. The Acas conciliator will then contact the employer with the view to starting up settlement negotiation.
Reaching an early settlement can be beneficial for both parties as it avoids the stress, risk, costs and time associated with litigation. A settlement may involve the employer paying the employee some financial compensation or it could simply involve a reference and/or an apology. The settlement is agreed by the parties and not imposed on them like a tribunal judgment would be. This means that both parties have more control over the outcome.
The Acas officer will be impartial and will work between the parties to try to encourage a settlement. Conciliation is completely confidential which means that if the matter goes to a tribunal hearing none of the communications during conciliation can be used as evidence.
Acas will give the parties one calendar month to try to reach a settlement. This can be extended by up to 14 days if both parties agree. Tribunal claims generally have to reach the tribunal within 3 months of the termination of employment or last discriminatory act. Early conciliation will stop the clock in relation to this time limit.
For further information about bringing or defending a tribunal claim or negotiating a settlement please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.