CHANGES TO EARLY CONCILIATION PROCEDURE
Thursday 17th December 2020
The Employment Tribunals (Constitution and Rules of Procedure) (Early Conciliation: Exemptions and Rules of Procedure) (Amendment) Regulations 2020 set out several changes to the procedure followed in Employment Tribunals.
One of the amendments provides that, as of 1 December 2020, the Acas Early Conciliation period will be extended from four weeks to six weeks. Previously, the standard period was four weeks with the option to extend by a further two weeks. However, with this amendment, six weeks will be the standard and there will be no option to extend this further. The aim of this is to reduce the amount of claims brought in the Tribunal and allow a sensible period of time for early conciliation to take place, especially given the current unprecedented times we are being faced with.
The changes implemented by the Act are aimed at reducing the number of claims in the Tribunal and making the Tribunal process quicker and more effective. The extension to the Acas Early Conciliation period may be beneficial to employers, particularly where the pandemic has resulted in reduced staff numbers, as it allows more time for discussion to take place. Employers will, however, need to bear this change in mind when considering whether an employee is in or out of time to bring a claim.
If you would like to discuss this further, then please contact a member of our employment team. To view the rest of our December Employment Law Update, click the button below.