ACAS Early Conciliation

Book your free initial call

    We endeavour to make an initial response to all enquiries within 24 hours but please be aware that on some occasions due to prior commitments or volume of calls we will not be able to respond in that time frame. We also operate a 48 hour return policy. This return policy means that if we have not responded with 48 hours of your initial enquiry we are unable to do so due to current workloads and we will destroy your data accordingly. This policy ensures you are not left waiting and have the certainty that your data is not compromised. In most instances however we are able to make contact within a 24 hour time frame. Please note our free initial advice service is available to clients at our total discretion and if your case is of a complex nature we may not be able to offer you a free consultation. However in these instances we will advise you what the charge would be for an initial fixed fee consultation.
  • (view our privacy statement)
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

In the majority of Employment Tribunal cases, ACAS requires information from the Claimant before starting proceedings. Information required includes the names and addresses of the parties involved and the Employment Tribunals Regulations 2014 also states that, where there is more than one respondent, a separate early conciliation form should be completed for each. Once the form has been completed, ACAS will issue a certificate that means proceedings can begin. Does this mean that if a certificate has been issued by ACAS in breach of this rule that it should be invalid. In De Mota v (1) ADR Network and (2) The Cooperative Group Ltd UK, the EAT ruled that ‘No’ the certificate would not be invalid.

In this case the Claimant listed two Respondents on his form and was issued a single certificate naming both Respondents. The Employment Tribunal decided that it was unable to hear his claim because the certificate had not been issued correctly. However, at appeal the EAT held that even though the certificate had been issued incorrectly, it was sufficient and should have been accepted.

HHJ Richardson allowed the Claimant’s appeal, holding that the Employment Tribunal should have accepted the ACAS certificate at face value. The ACAS certificate was sufficient, even if issued in error, to give the Employment Tribunal jurisdiction to hear the case against both Respondents.

Written by

Edward Aston
5th October 2017