Acas conciliation
Acas conciliation

The following Employment guidance note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Acas conciliation
  • The duty to conciliate
  • The advantages of Acas conciliation
  • Voluntary early conciliation
  • Post-claim conciliation
  • Relevant proceedings
  • The conciliation officer's role
  • The conciliated agreement (Form COT3)
  • Waiver of claims
  • Effect on existing proceedings
  • more

Acas (the Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service) is a publicly-funded independent organisation which promotes good employment relations and assists employers and employees in preventing or resolving employment disputes. Its services include conciliation, mediation and arbitration.

Acas conciliation involves an independent Acas conciliation officer (also known as a conciliator) discussing the issues in dispute with both parties in order to help them reach a better understanding of each other's position. The conciliation officer tries to encourage the parties in dispute to come to an agreement between themselves so as to avoid the need for a tribunal hearing.

An agreement reached following conciliation under the auspices of a conciliation officer is one of the two exceptions to the 'contracting out provisions' which apply to most employment protection legislation, which impose a basic rule that any provision in an agreement that purports to prevent a person from making, or proceeding with, a claim to an employment tribunal is void to that extent. The purpose of the contracting out provisions is to protect claimants (or potential claimants) against signing away their right to bring or pursue a claim without adequate safeguards having been observed. For further information, see Practice Note: Settlement, withdrawal, dismissal of claims and consent orders in the employment tribunal—Settlement of statutory claims.

Acas has a number of statutory functions, set out in the Trade Union