ACAS early conciliation

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ACAS early conciliation (EC) (the scheme under which prospective claimants must contact ACAS before they can bring an employment tribunal claim) has been operational since 6 April and will become compulsory from 6 May.

It is worth re-iterating that there is now a real possibility that ACAS might contact an employee’s or ex-employee’s manager, team leader or supervisor directly if that person has been named on the EC form. If a manager were to enter into conciliation discussions which ultimately resulted in a settlement via ACAS then that agreement is likely to be binding regardless of whether it has internal approval or has ‘gone through the right channels’. Employers may wish to update managers about the EC scheme and remind them that, if they are contacted by ACAS, they should not attempt to engage in any conciliation discussions without appropriate authorisation/HR support.