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DISPUTE RESOLUTION: Just how mandatory is mandatory early conciliation?

03 October 2014  

With no clear incentive for employers and employees to enter into genuine settlement discussions, James Watkins, Kathryn Clapp and Rachel Farr question how effective the new early conciliation regime will be

Perhaps the most intriguing of the radical changes to the employment tribunal system introduced under the coalition government is the recent introduction of mandatory early conciliation. Prospective claimants have been required since 6 May 2014 to refer a complaint to Acas for early conciliation before they instigate employment tribunal proceedings. The primary objective of this measure is to encourage dialogue between the parties at the very outset of a dispute before it reaches litigation, with the aim of reducing the burden on employment tribunals. Any claim lodged in an employment tribunal must now include a unique early conciliation certificate number, and without this reference the claim will not be permitted to proceed.

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Last modified on 20 October 2014