Q&As

What are the benefits for an employer of using Acas early conciliation?

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Published on LexisPSL on 04/11/2014

The following Employment Q&A provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • What are the benefits for an employer of using Acas early conciliation?
  • General considerations
  • Cost savings
  • Less risk of adverse publicity
  • Possible earlier identification of potential claims
  • Settlement at an early stage
  • Novel settlement terms
  • Earlier opportunity to identify relevant evidence and witnesses
  • Opportunity to identify other possible respondents
  • Wait for tribunal issue fee to be paid?
  • More...

What are the benefits for an employer of using Acas early conciliation?

For further information about Acas early conciliation generally, see our Practice Note The early conciliation requirement.

The early conciliation (EC) requirement is an obligation on a prospective claimant to contact Acas with certain information prior to submitting a claim in the employment tribunal. It applies to most tribunal claims—see The early conciliation requirement—Relevant proceedings and The early conciliation requirement—Exemptions.

If EC is initiated by a prospective claimant, the time limit for the claimant to submit their tribunal claim will be extended, with a view to enabling a conciliated settlement to be agreed before proceedings are issued. See The early conciliation requirement—Extension to time limits (the 'stop the clock' provisions).

However, a prospective claimant does not have to engage in actual conciliation of their prospective claim in any meaningful way. Furthermore, the claimant may refuse to give Acas permission to contact the prospective respondent about the claim, which means that the employer may not be informed of the claim in advance or involved in the EC process.

General considerations

Some specific reasons which may make it worthwhile for an employer client to participate in EC are considered later in this Q&A. However, as a general rule, much will depend on:

  1. whether the prospective claimant has a genuine desire to be involved in meaningful conciliation

  2. whether the prospective claimant is prepared to

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