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Important News on Acas Early Conciliation

Important News on Acas Early Conciliation
Richard Hiron Dec 01,2020
blog post

Today, the time periods for an employee (potential Claimant) and employer (potential Respondent) to engage in Acas Early Conciliation to try and resolve a potential claim before going to the Employment Tribunal have changed.

Previously, potential Claimants and potential Respondents were asked whether they wished to negotiate through Acas for a period of one month with an option to extend that for a further two weeks if those negotiations were proceeding well.

However, from 1 December 2020, where the potential Claimant and the potential Respondent agree to engage in Acas Early Conciliation, that process will continue for a minimum period of six weeks, which is reflected in The Employment Tribunals (Constitution and Rules of Procedure) (Early Conciliation: Exemptions and Rules of Procedure) (Amendment) Regulations 2020.

This change has been brought in because, even before the increased caseload flowing from the COVID-19 pandemic, conciliators at Acas were finding it difficult to contact potential Respondents before the third or even fourth week of Early Conciliation, which was often too late, even if a two-week extension could be agreed.