ACAS are an independent organisation who attempt to assist both parties in a Tribunal complaint to reach an amicable settlement without having to go to Tribunal.

There is now a requirement to utilise ACAS Early Comciliation before you are able to issue an Employment Tribunal claim. The for is available to complete online via the ACAS website. The correct name of the employer must be inserted on the form.

Upon receipt of a request, ACAS contact the parties to discuss the issues in the case and to see if it is possible to reach a resolution. If that is not possible or a month has expired without prospect of resolution, then they will issue an Early Conciliation Certificate. The Claimant then has at least 1 month less 1 day from the date the certificate was issued to issue a Tribunal claim.

After a Tribunal complaint has been issued, ACAS will engage in post claim conciliation and will contact both parties to introduce themselves. They will thereafter act as a “middle man” to promote a conciliation agreement between the parties as an alternative to the Tribunal dealing with the claim at a hearing.

The terms of any settlement negotiated through ACAS Early Conciliation or Post Claim Conciliation, will be contained within a written agreement called a “COT 3” which will be signed by or on behalf of both parties. This will conclude the claim and the Tribunal will be notified of this by ACAS.