Posted on April 9, 2019
What is ACAS?
ACAS stands for the Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service, which is an independent organisation, funded by the Government, who aim to promote better employment relations. ACAS can provide a free alternative to bringing a claim in an Employment Tribunal and aim to provide a confidential, fast and cost-efficient resolution to an employment dispute.
Why it is important to contact ACAS?
Before you can bring a case in the Employment Tribunal you must notify ACAS of your intention to do so and invoke the ACAS Early Conciliation process. During Early Conciliation your ACAS conciliator will communicate with you and your employer to see if the situation can be resolved without the matter progressing to a Tribunal. This can continue for up to one month at this stage, but when ACAS believe that the matter cannot be settled, they will issue and Early Conciliation certificate which contains a reference which is required to submit a claim form. There are some claims where an Early Conciliation certificate is not required. During Early Conciliation possible negotiated solutions may be a settlement agreement or reinstatement. It is important to remember however, that ACAS are not your advisors and that they will not protect your interest in the same way legal representation would.
Are there any time limits?
Most claims have a time limit of 3 months less 1 day to submit your claim form. For example, if you consider the you have been unfairly dismissed you have 3 months less 1 day from the effective date of termination to lodge a claim. During these 3 months you must contact ACAS. When you contact ACAS the clock ‘is stopped’ on your three months and is restarted again on the day ACAS grant an Early Conciliation certificate.
When does their involvement end?
The early conciliation process can last for up to one month, however ACAS may remain involved up to the hearing date.
As ACAS conciliators are not there to protect a party’s rights, it is important that you seek legal advice on a claim as early as possible. If you would like to discuss an Employment Tribunal claim, or potential claim, please contact us today via email at
or via telephone on 020 7903 6888 to speak to an expert Employment Solicitor.
Posted on April 9, 2019
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