Plans for early conciliation via Acas are still likely and the government plans to implement this new pre-claim conciliation process with effect from 1 April 2014.
Claimants will be required to contact ACAS before presenting a claim. Claimants will have to complete a request form with basic information only regarding their claim. This system is envisaged to benefit both parties by giving employers some indication of the area of complaint while claimants will not be bound with regard to those areas.
Employers will then be able to request Early Conciliation if they feel they want to do so or, if a Tribunal seems to be likely, on the basis of the details put forward by the Claimant.
The Early Conciliation itself will be in two parts. An EC Support Officer will contact the Claimant to give them information about the process and to ascertain if the claimant wishes to try and settle the matter. If this is the case, the respondent will be contacted accordingly.
It will be interesting to see just how effective this system is in resolving disputes, deterring applicants and waylaying tribunal hearings.
For further advice and guidance, contact Kelly Halls on 0800 542 7550 or by email at email@example.com.