Early Conciliation of ACAS: Everything Employers Must Know

UK Immigration Blog

ACAS – Advisory, Conciliation, and Arbitration Service is a public body in the UK funded by the government that works with millions of employers and employees to enhance workplace relationships with each other every year. 

This government body works with recruiters and migrant workers for early conciliation before going to the employment tribunal.

What is ACAS Early Conciliation?

Before going to an employment tribunal, an individual/worker must refer the dispute to ACAS for early conciliation.

The UK Government facilitates and settles employment disputes between employers and employees/claimants through the process of ACAS Early Conciliation. In other words, if a worker/individual has to go for an employment tribunal, the same individual must first refer the dispute to ACAS for early conciliation.

This is very beneficial  for the employer in many ways, some of which are mentioned below:

  • To approach conciliation in full consideration of the claim.
  • In legal ways.
  • Financial ways as it is free and run by the government.

After the end of tribunal fees and an increase in the number of tribunal claims, we have seen the rise of using conciliation with many reputable organisations/firms taking part. The major reason behind its growth is its free and confidential service, which is designed in such a way as to solve the dispute between both parties and avoid the cost, effort, and stress of the claim.

Early Conciliation is voluntary, as both sides should be mutually agreed upon. For instance, If one side does not agree on the terms and conditions of Early Conciliation, the matter can then go to directly Employment Tribunal for its solution. Hence, it must be solved in the ACAS.

If one of the parties didn’t agree at ACAS, then it will lead to the following:

  • Redundancy
  • Wrongful dismissal
  • Unfair dismissal
  • Whistleblowing
  • Discrimination

What is Mandatory ACAS Early Conciliation?

ACAS Early Conciliation is a mandatory process for employees to submit their cases to ACAS through the appropriate channels.

Mandatory ACAS Early Conciliation is a process by which employees submit their cases to ACAS through proper channels, i.e., UK government website. After submitting their cases to ACAS, they can also directly communicate the details of their claims.

How Does Mandatory Early Conciliation Work?

If you need to know how Mandatory Early Conciliation Work, then follow the below step-by-step guide:-

  • Employees must submit their cases to ACAS, and it agrees with them to take part in the Early Conciliation. 
  • After all this process, the ACAS conciliator approaches the employer to discuss the issues with the employee or their representative and vice versa.
  • Early conciliator detailed by the ACAS aims to resolve the dispute between the recruiter and the employee so that there is no need to go to the Employment Tribunal.

Early Conciliation Support for Employers

As you all know, the employee’s conciliation participation could be more efficient. However, they only need to notify ACAS of the UK government. After notifying the ACAS, the employer is notified, which makes the employer ensure they are following the case strategically.

Reasons Behind Early Conciliation

The reasons for Early Conciliation for employers are appended below:

  • Employers are now getting more notice of ACAS Early Conciliation and response because now it has become compulsory for a claimant to have used ACAS Early Conciliation if they want an employment claim in the Employment Tribunal.
  • ET1 Form is not acceptable in Tribune without the number of Early ACAS certificates.
  • A Large number of employees do not know when and how they should initiate ACAS Early Conciliation. As a result, they are putting pressure on Employers.
  • In the end, after the pandemic of Covid-19, we saw a major increase in the living crisis and business utilities. As a result, it raises employment disputes and cases at the Employment Tribunal.

All the above mentioned are the factors that are responsible for the Early Conciliation. Therefore, it is necessary to mutually agree at the ACAS forum and don’t take your cases to the Employment Tribunal. Once the case has gone to the tribunal, there’s no coming back, and it will depend on the Tribunal for its decision, and the results will be unpredictable or as that is mentioned above.

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Teresa Aldridge
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VisaHelpUK - UK Immigration and Visa Application Advice Service
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