ACAS Early Conciliation
Any employee (or former employee) wishing to lodge an Employment Tribunal claim must first notify ACAS, who will, if both parties agree to take part, attempt to resolve the dispute through conciliation. An employer contacted by ACAS about a proposed conciliation should take advice before deciding whether to take part and what negotiating position to adopt.
If the conciliation process does not reach a resolution within one month or if either party is unwilling to take part, ACAS will issue an Early Conciliation Reference Number. If both parties agree, ACAS may extend the one month period by two weeks if positive talks are in progress. An employee (or former employee) must have an Early Conciliation Reference Number in order to submit an Employment Tribunal claim.
Have you received an Employment Tribunal Claim ?
Even though expecting it, actually seeing the ET1 claim form in print can come as a shock. Your employee (or former employee) will have set out the nature of the claims being made and a version of the events backing them up. Submitting your ET3 response form accurately and within the time limit is a critical first step and you should promptly seek specialist advice - call us for a no obligation discussion of your situation and how we may be able to help you.
The Employment Tribunal process is likely to take place in two stages: a Preliminary Hearing which will deal with "case management" and, if necessary, the determination of preliminary issues; and the Hearing itself.
We can represent you at both stages and we know from experience that success depends upon much more than simply knowing the law. The Employment Tribunal is the body which hears and weighs up the evidence and determines the facts before applying the law to those facts. Assisting the Tribunal by presenting the facts clearly - in documents and in witness statements - and allowing the truth to emerge through considered cross-examination of the claimant and the claimant's witnesses are essential elements of success. Parties in Tribunal often make the mistake of wanting to tell every element of their own stories and challenge every piece of the other side's evidence - but the Tribunal has limited time and it is particularly important to concentrate on those facts which are relevant to the issues.
Of course, we will also advise you throughout the process on the strength of your response to the claims and, if appropriate, advise you on negotiating a settlement or handle negotiations on your behalf.