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Acas Early Conciliation and Tribunal ClaimsPosted on by Angela Rhodes
That latest statistics show that claims in the Employment Tribunal have increased by around a massive 150% since the fees were abolished in July 2017. So, what happens and what do we recommend that you do?
It is mandatory that employees follow the Acas Early Conciliation process before they are able to submit most claims to the Employment Tribunal. Provided both parties agree to engage, this process gives an opportunity to reach agreement and settle a dispute without having to go to the Tribunal.
We are very proud that no client who has ever followed our advice has ever lost a Tribunal Claim. That’s not to say though that we haven’t had to attend a few. Take it from me, it’s not a pleasant experience!
If you receive notification under the Early Conciliation process then first of all consider the strengths of both the employee’s and your case. Think about the situation objectively and commercially. If you are able to reach a settlement via this process, you can guarantee it will be quicker, less expensive and quite definitely less stressful than having to defend a claim. Don’t get hung up on principles – I always remember a lawyer telling me how much he loved clients who clung to their principles and would fight to the bitter end, no matter what the cost!
You will be given a deadline and it is vital that you respond well before that deadline, particularly if it is likely that some negotiation time will be needed.
If early conciliation fails then you are likely to receive an ET1 claim form. You have 28 days from the date it was sent to you by the Tribunal to respond on an ET3 form.
Our recommendation if you receive one of these is to take the advice of an Employment Lawyer as quickly as possible as this could save you a lot of money. They are used to dealing with these forms and will know exactly how to respond in the right way.
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