Acas Early Reconciliation Deadline Extended
From the first of December, Acas has extended the Early Reconciliation (EC) deadline from one month to 6 weeks. Previously, the EC period was only a month with a possible extension of 14 days, depending on the circumstances. Furthermore, Acas can now contact the claimant at any point to amend errors and obtain missing information.
What is Acas?
Acas is the Advisory, Conciliation and Advisory Service. They are an independent public body that receives their funding from the Government. Check out their website here.
What is Early Reconciliation (EC)?
Early Reconciliation through Acas offers an option of coming to an agreement between claimant and respondent without having to submit a claim to the employment tribunal.
How can I start EC proceedings?
You can start the EC process by first contacting Acas through the phone or filling out an EC form. You need to do this before submitting a claim to the tribunal. Once the EC form has been submitted, Acas will contact both parties to determine whether both parties wish to conciliate. If the EC process fails, Acas will issue an EC Certificate, containing a reference number. A claim to the employment tribunal will be rejected if it does not contain an EC reference number.
What does this extension mean?
If both parties agree to conciliate, the process now lasts six weeks rather than a month. Essentially, this a simplification of the previous guidelines. This extension also means that there is now more time to settle an argument between claimant and respondent without having to turn to the employment tribunal.
This is a welcome extension, in light of the rise of claims due to furlough problems and the end of the scheme as well as unfair redundancies due to the pandemic.
What does it mean that now Acas can correct errors?
Acas now contact the parties involved in the EC process to correct any errors on the EC form. This is also a significant and welcome improvement to the process. Previously, Acas had to either reject an EC form or simply continue with out if it had errors or missing information in it.
If you have any questions regarding the Early Conciliation process, please do not hesitate to get in touch by calling 0161 917 5071 or by filling out the form below.
This publication is a general guide and summary of the law and should not be construed as legal advice. It should not be acted upon or relied upon in any way and should not replace legal advice which is bespoke to your particular circumstances.
GWA Law 2020©
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