Consultant editor Darren Newman maintains that the Acas early conciliation service provides no real substitute for dealing with claims properly in an employment tribunal system open to all.
Early conciliation has helped to avoid seven out of 10 potential employment tribunal hearings, Acas has found.
Updated to include information on the EAT decision in Tanveer v East London Bus & Coach Company Ltd on the extension of time limits to facilitate early conciliation.
Amanda Steadman is a professional support lawyer, Iain Naylor, Lucy Sorell and Rachael Wake are associates, and Jessica-Alice Curtis is a trainee solicitor at Addleshaw Goddard LLP. They round up the latest rulings.
In Cranwell v Cullen EAT/0046/14, the EAT held that a claim in the employment tribunal could not proceed without an early conciliation certificate, even where actual conciliation was clearly impossible.
In Sterling v United Learning Trust EAT/0439/14, the EAT held that an employment tribunal was entitled to reject a claim where the employee failed to include the correct early conciliation number.
The Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) has held that a tribunal was right to reject a claim where the claimant had not contacted Acas under the early conciliation procedure. While the claimant's reluctance to initiate the procedure was understandable, given that the claim involved allegations of sexual harassment, the claimant did not fall within any of the statutory exemptions.
The Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) has refused to allow a claim to proceed where it was submitted shortly before the time limit ran out, but rejected because of an incorrect early conciliation number being entered on the ET1. The claim was resubmitted, but outside the time limit.
In a case report from Blake Morgan, an employment tribunal found that an initial failure to follow the Acas early conciliation rules was not necessarily fatal to the claim being considered by the tribunal.
From 6 May 2014, notifying Acas through the early conciliation process becomes mandatory for those employees wanting to bring an employment tribunal claim. New FAQs answer employers' questions on the process.
HR and legal information and guidance relating to the settlement of claims through Acas.