It is now compulsory for individuals to contact the Advisory Conciliation and Arbitration Service (ACAS) before submitting a claim in the Employment Tribunal.
This is the start of the Early Conciliation process, which can last up to 6 weeks, the aim of which is to help the parties resolve the dispute and avoid an Employment Tribunal claim.
If conciliation is seen as a possibility an ACAS officer will liaise with the parties to try to resolve the dispute.
Where a resolution is not regarded as a possibility then ACAS will issue a certificate which will then allow the individual to lodge their claim in the Employment Tribunal.
For further details about the process call the Gateley Legal Advice Helpline on 0845 250 8585.
The process may help you avoid a potential claim and resolve a dispute amicably in a cost effective manner.
It is also important that you are aware of the process to ensure you comply with the notification terms in your insurance policy.
An ACAS officer will only contact you if the individual has indicated that they have a complaint but are willing to take part in Early Conciliation.
This is likely to be your first notification that you might be facing a claim. It is important that you engage in the process. If not you will miss this early opportunity to find out more about the allegations and potentially resolve the dispute before an Employment Tribunal claim is made.
What should I do when I am contacted by ACAS?