Naming the Respondent in the ACAS process

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.

An error in the name on the ACAS EC certificate for the Respondent does not prevent a Tribunal from accepting the claim according to the recent EAT decision in Mist v Derby Community NHS Trust. The Claimant in this case correctly named the Respondent in the ET1 but did so incorrectly in the ACAS EC process. A second Respondent was added at a later stage and they challenged the Claimant’s compliance with ACAS EC.

The EAT held that s18A of the Employment Tribunal Act 1996 requires the Claimant to name the Respondent but the requirement is not to give the full legal title. If ACAS accept the notification and subsequently issue a certificate, the Tribunal can rely on this as conclusive of the Claimant’s compliance with ACAS EC. Addition of a new Respondent can be treated as an amendment to the existing claim and as such no additional certificate is required. Further, a tribunal can decide not to reject a claim where the certificate and the ET1 have differing details.

There has been much case law on the new ACAS EC but few cases have made it to the EAT to provide this level of guidance. Whilst authority for tribunals, the case is very much around the discretion of a Judge in such a case and does not dictate what they must do but rather what they can do. Helpful authority for a Claimant who should ever have to rely on it but caution should still be taken to ensure that the details are right first time given the discretionary element.

Written by
Edward Aston
27th January 2016