ACAS pre-claim conciliation

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Just a reminder that the use of ACAS pre-claim conciliation is now mandatory for all relevant proceedings. The ET1 form has been amended accordingly so that the Claimant must either provide the early conciliation certificate number or confirmation that the proceedings are not relevant proceedings as set out in s18(1) of the Employment Tribunals Act 1996 or that they are exempt from complying. The Employment Tribunal will reject the claim where the ET1 does not contain the certificate number or the election. The Tribunal will also review the contents of the form where the Claimant has stated that the claim is not one for relevant proceedings. The matter will then be referred to a judge who can reject the claim. Claimants’ should be aware that when submitting their claim at the last minute, if it is rejected then there is no extension of time. The matter will be to the Tribunal’s discretion under the “not reasonably practicable” test for unfair dismissal cases.

The new procedure requires a separate early conciliation form for each Respondent where the Claimant is claiming against more than one Respondent. There are complex amendments to the time limits for the ordinary presentation of a claim. If the Claimant uses pre-claim conciliation then the limitation can be extended by up to 2 ½ months depending on when the time limit would have expired and whether pre–claim conciliation is extended by agreement for the further period of 14 days.

Written by
Edward Aston
16th May 2014