Unhappy employees will now have to lodge their disputes with the Acas Early Conciliation service if they are considering taking you to an employment tribunal.
All complainants are now required to notify Acas before they can proceed to tribunal. Under the conciliation scheme, Acas will contact the employee within two working days to offer conciliation. You and the employee would then have up to one month to resolve the dispute with the aid of the Acas conciliator.
The service is free, confidential and impartial — and, if Acas figures are to be believed, successful. Acas suggest that three quarters of all complaints are resolved via the conciliation service without recourse to the employment tribunal.
Employers should welcome this move. Acas figures also show that cases heard under Pre Claim Conciliation — the forerunner of the new Early Conciliation scheme — cost just £475 and one working day compared to £3,700 and four days for an employment tribunal.
This should all amount to less stress, cost and disruption for everyone.