ACAS Early Conciliation and the continued rise of the Settlement Agreement

With news that approximately 1,000 individuals per week* have contacted ACAS to discuss free Early Conciliation (EC), the new scheme is off to a flying start. Although initially optional, from 6th May 2014 EC is now mandatory. This means that before issuing a claim in the Employment Tribunal, an employee must usually:

(1) complete an Early Conciliation form (EC form) or contact ACAS by telephone notifying them of the claim;

(2) complete a separate EC form and obtain a separate EC Certificate for each respondent;

(3) include the EC Certificate number on the ET1 claim form.

If this is not done, the claim is likely to be rejected.

The new scheme is intended to get employees and employers talking at an early stage. Even before ACAS becomes involved, early communication when an employment relationship is breaking down can often lead to a sensible Settlement Agreement.

To learn more about Settlement Agreements and how we can help, explore our newly launched Review My Settlement Agreement website at

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