ACAS Early Conciliation period extended to six weeks

Legislation has been passed to extend the ACAS Early Conciliation period from one month to six weeks.

Many employers may have encountered ACAS in respect of an employee or employees within their organisation. ACAS is a UK Government funded independent body who provide advice and guidance on workplace issues to individuals and employers, and who offer conciliation services to parties involved in Employment Tribunal claims.

ACAS Early Conciliation is a system of mandatory pre-claim conciliation that applies to most employment disputes. The objective of early conciliation is to encourage both parties to reach a settlement before the case is heard in the Employment Tribunal.

In addition to the ACAS early conciliation period being extended to six weeks, the legislation has also removed the ability for ACAS to extend the early conciliation period by up to 14 days.

Employers who are contacted by ACAS in respect of one of their employees or former employees should bear this extension in mind during any period of Early Conciliation. Where a prospective claimant engages in ACAS early conciliation with an employer, the time limit for submitting a claim will be paused during Early Conciliation.

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