Acas Early Conciliation – A free new service launches 6 April

January 30, 2014 4:26 pm

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From 6 April, anyone intending to make an employment tribunal claim must contact Acas first.   To find out more about this important change and how they can help resolve disputes quickly, saving businesses the time, cost and stress of going to a tribunal, read on…

From April Acas will offer Early Conciliation to try and resolve the dispute quickly and cost effectively.  Acas’ advice is always that it is best for employers and employees to resolve disputes as early as possible.  However, if an issue can’t be resolved in the workplace, then reaching a settlement through conciliation at the earliest opportunity is quicker, cheaper and less stressful for all concerned than a tribunal hearing.  Find out more about this new service from Acas Chief Executive, Anne Sharp, in an interview with People Management.

What will be the key benefits of Early Conciliation?

  • Using Acas Early Conciliation could help you avoid going to an employment tribunal which can be costly, stressful and time-consuming.
  • Our expert conciliators are impartial, professional and highly valued by the people that they help.
  • We can help clarify the most up to date requirements of employment law
  • The service is free.

What type of issues will Early Conciliation help resolve?

Early Conciliation will help resolve the majority of workplace disputes which may lead to an employment tribunal, including:

  • unfair dismissal claims
  • workplace discrimination
  • redundancy payments or disputes around selection procedures
  • deductions from wages or unpaid notice/holiday pay
  • rights to time off or flexible working
  • equal pay.

How will Early Conciliation work?

Once Acas receives a request for Early Conciliation they will phone the person making the claim within one working day –  clarifying any details on the application form, gathering basic information on the dispute itself and providing a fuller understanding of EC. Once this has been done the case will be passed on to a Conciliator who will aim to make contact with both parties within one working day of receiving the case. Find out more about conciliation and how it works from the Acas conciliation services Q&A.

Businesses can also subscribe to the Acas newsletter to keep up-to-date and receive free email updates offering advice for HR and management professionals on a variety of employment relations subjects.  These e-newsletters include:

  • Free guidance on employment relations and HR issues
  • Employment law updates
  • Free tools, forms and resources
  • Information about training and events in your area
  • Best practice for resolving workplace disputes
  • Free guidance on a range of management topics
  • Updates on new Acas codes

Acas offers businesses a number of  services, including providing information, advice, training, conciliation and other services for both employers and employees to help prevent or resolve workplace problems.  Often employers just want to discuss their options, for example, throughout the summer Acas received a wide range of questions relating to holiday issues and leave requests. This can include employer arrangements for term-time workers, whether or not bank holidays should or should not be included in statutory leave, and what an employer can do if an employee changes their leave dates at short notice or with no notice at all.  For more details of the comprehensive range of services on offer and different ways to get in touch, visit their website.

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