Early Conciliation is a process of the ACAS meant to extend the time limit for claims in the employment tribunal. However, it can be complicated. This article is a guide to the rules and effects of the Early Conciliation Process.
Early Conciliation depends on 4 things
The date ACAS receives the Early Conciliation notification form.
The date the claimant receives the Early Conciliation certificate.
The claimant’s date of termination.
deadline for the employment tribunal’s claim (usually 3 months from the date of termination.)
Once you know all of these, you can determine the extended deadline as follows:
The Deadline is extended by the difference between the date ACAS receives the Early Conciliation notification form and the date the claimant receives the Early Conciliation certificate. Example: If the notification form for a patient fired on 1 May is filed on 1 June and the EC certificate is issued on 20 June, then the deadline (31 July) gets extended by the difference between 1 June and 20 June, or 19 days, making the new deadline 19 August.
If the deadline is less than one month from the Claimants receiving of the EC certificate, the deadline gets extended by one month after the date of EC certificate receiving. Example: If the claimant notifies ACAS on 3 July and receives the EC certificate on 3 August, the deadline would be extended by 31 days to 31 August. Since this is less than a month from 3 August, the deadline becomes a month after 3 August, or 3 September.
The deadline can only be extended from the date on or after termination. If ACAS receives notification of EC before the date of termination, substitute the date of notification with the day before termination. Example: If the claimant notifies ACAS on 28 April, 3 days before the termination date of 1 May, and the EC certificate is issued on 28 May, the deadline will be extended by the difference between 30 April and 28 May, or 28 days, making the new deadline 28 August.
If the deadline has already passed when the claimant notifies ACAS, Early Conciliation has no effect on time limits and the deadline is not extended. Example: If the claimant notifies ACAS on 1 August, after the deadline of 31 July, Early Conciliation has no effect and the deadline is not extended.
Even once you’ve figured out how Early Conciliation will extend the deadline, however, there are still a couple things to remember:
You don’t need to go through a second Early Conciliation process if you want to make a new claim related to the original. If you want to be safe, file another one anyway, but it won’t change the extended deadline from the original Early Conciliation process.
You don’t need to file another Early Conciliation if you want to add or substitute respondents. It will be up to the tribunal whether or not to allow you to amend the claim by adding or substituting respondents.
Early Conciliation can be both extremely helpful and incredibly confusing. Making sure you understand the process will make filing a claim with ACAS much easier.
Disclaimer: This blog is for general information only. Nothing on this blog constitutes formal legal advice or gives rise to a solicitor-client relationship.