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. https://ec.acas.org.uk/Submission/Create. 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.