The early conciliation requirement
The early conciliation requirement

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

  • The early conciliation requirement
  • Overview of application and effect
  • Voluntary early conciliation
  • When the early conciliation requirement applies
  • Relevant proceedings
  • Exemptions
  • Prescribed information
  • Multiple claimants
  • When to provide Acas with the prescribed information
  • The Acas duty to conciliate
  • more

The early conciliation (EC) requirement (also known as mandatory Acas early conciliation) is an obligation on a prospective claimant to contact Acas with certain information prior to submitting a claim in the employment tribunal.

The EC requirement was introduced to:

  1. allow Acas the opportunity to promote the settlement of employment-related disputes at an early stage, and

  2. reduce the need for claims to be brought in the employment tribunal

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 encourages the parties in dispute to reach an agreement between themselves in order to avoid the need for a tribunal hearing to resolve the matter.

For further information on Acas conciliation generally, see Practice Note: Acas conciliation.

Prospective claimants must comply with the EC requirement for most employment tribunal claims (submitted on or after 6 May 2014).

See also:

  1. The early conciliation requirement: relevant proceedings and extension of time limits—checklist

  2. Does the early conciliation requirement apply?—flowchart

  3. Complying with the early conciliation requirement—flowchart

For information on data protection issues in the context of employment tribunal proceedings, see Practice Note: Employment tribunal proceedings—data protection issues under GDPR.

Overview of application and effect

The EC requirement, which is set out in section 18A(1)