The new rules on ACAS Early Conciliation have come into force today!
ACAS early conciliation is the process whereby ACAS try to help you reach an agreement with a prospective claimant before they make a tribunal claim. If conciliation fails, then an early conciliation certificate will be provided and the prospective Claimant will be able to submit their claim to the Employment Tribunal.
A key change in the new rules is that the one-month early conciliation process (with the possibility to extend for a further two weeks) has changed to a new 6-week period with no opportunity to extend.
So, what does this mean in practice? Whilst this may not be a fundamental change to most claims, it does extend the limitation date for a claim. Subsequently, we may see a greater number of parties coming to agreements prior to tribunal claims being submitted. However, it also just provides Claimants with a longer period of time to get their claim in!