This article was published on July 18th, 2014
A very important change in employment law slipped into the statute books recently.
From 6th May, anyone who wants to bring a claim in an employment tribunal must first submit an early conciliation form alerting Acas to the case. It’s followed by a period of talking through the issues and trying to avoid getting the tribunal involved in the dispute.
There’s one proviso – and it’s a big one. It’s that both parties must agree to conciliate. No one can be forced into it. So ‘compulsory’ in one sense, but still a little voluntary. The compulsory aspect is really little more than the employee having to tell Acas s/he’s planning to bring a claim.
Our view? Conciliation is well worth a shot. There will rarely be anything to lose, and it gives employers a chance to avoid litigation by settling cases before positions become entrenched. The scheme’s success though will depend on everyone seeing it that way.