New Rules for Employment Tribunals

The Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Act 2013 has introduced a conciliation scheme which makes it compulsory for employees wishing to lodge an Employment Tribunal claim to first notify ACAS.

Whilst conciliation through ACAS has been available for some time, from 6 May 2014 the requirement to notify ACAS became compulsory for all employees.

For the employer, this gives an ideal opportunity to find out the nature of the complaint being made and, if appropriate, to settle the claim without the need for Employment Tribunal proceedings.  If however the employer believes there is a defence to the claim, the advance notice will give them an opportunity of additional time to prepare that defence.

It should also be noted that employers are not required to enter into the conciliation once ACAS has been notified but they must be able to show to a Tribunal that they have at least considered whether it was appropriate to do so.

Employees may also find this system beneficial as they will otherwise have to pay Employment Tribunal fees of up to £250 to issue the claim and a further fee of £950 for the final hearing.

Employment Lawyers will be keeping a very close eye on the impact these changes will bring to the Employment Tribunal system.

If you are in need of employment law advice, please  email James Leo jl@coleyandtilley.co.uk or telephone 0121 643 5531 for a further discussion.

James Leo

Partner