Must an employer agree to take part in early conciliation if contacted by Acas?

No, taking part in the early conciliation process is voluntary. A prospective claimant can bring a claim in the employment tribunal only if he or she has contacted Acas and has received an early conciliation certificate. However, neither the prospective claimant nor the employer is obliged to take part in conciliation. If either party decides not to take part, Acas will issue an early conciliation certificate without conciliation having taken place.