Alternative to an employment tribunal for resolving workplace disputes
If you are going to make a claim to an employment tribunal you must now notify Acas first You will be offered the chance to use Early Conciliation – this is an opportunity to settle any workplace disputes without going to court.
Your first step should be to consider using the companies appeals or grievance procedure if they have one, or to let it run its course if you’re already using it.
Where you can’t sort things out direct with your employer, reaching a settlement through conciliation is quicker, cheaper and less stressful for all concerned than a tribunal hearing.
The Early Conciliation process
What happens next?
After you have submitted your form you will get an automatically acknowledged, by email if you have an email account, or by post if not. This acknowledgement is a record of your submission and includes the details you provided – this will include your name, the name of the organisation or person you want to make a tribunal claim against and the date and method of submission.
Acas will then aim to contact you within two working days, occasionally longer at times when the demand is higher. You will be briefly explain about Early Conciliation and ask you some basic questions about your claim. This might cause you to reconsider or that they might conclude that we can’t help. In most cases however your claim is passed to an Acas conciliator. They can talk to you and someone from or on behalf of the organisation you’re intending to take to tribunal. Their job is to talk through the issues with you both to see if a solution can be found before going to court.
Early Conciliation can help resolve the majority of workplace disputes which may lead to an employment tribunal, including:
- Equal pay
- Having the rights for time off and flexible working
- Workplace discrimination
- Deductions from wages or unpaid notice/holiday pay
- Redundancy payments or issues around selection procedures
- Unfair dismissal claim
Anybody who wishes to lodge a claim with an Employment Tribunal will have to provide an Acas Early Conciliation Reference Number.