ACAS Early Conciliation

ACAS Early Conciliation is a process that involves trying to resolve a dispute before a claim is made. They do not charge for the process and is confidential, meaning that discussions are inadmissible in any future claims.

The ACAS Early Conciliation normally involves an employee or ex-employee who is intending to make a claim to The Employment Tribunal. Before doing so has they to conciliate via ACAS. For the party considering making the claim it simply involves completing a short ACAS Early Conciliation notification form. This is online at However, for the recipient, notification is often unexpected and very distressful.

Making a claim to the Employment Tribunal now involves paying a fee unless special circumstances apply. This may deter any speculative Claimant from making a claim.

However where the Employer loses any case the fee will normally be awarded against the Employer. ACAS statistics suggest that only around 20% of individuals who pre-conciliated, and did not settle the dispute via this process, decided not to make a claim. It's likely that the instigator of ACAS Early Conciliation will be looking for a sum of money to avoid making the claim. In some circumstances settlement will make sound business sense for the Employer, in other circumstances clearly not.

ACAS early conciliation

Can we help your business?

We provide free initial advice to employers on the employment issue that's brought about the need for Early Conciliation. We often act for the employer and conciliate directly with ACAS. In our experience, we have found that clients of EBS Law have received an increased chance of not receiving a claim where we have acted for them during ACAS early conciliation. The litigant employee will have been made aware during ACAS early conciliation that the employer already has someone in their corner. Someone who will defend any subsequent claim.

Is it possible for an employer to instigate early conciliation?

Yes. ACAS Early Conciliation can be commenced by an employer. An employer who expects to receive a claim may consider approaching the employee via ACAS to offer a settlement. This approach can be used where the employer is certain that the employee is going to make a claim and wants to strike early. Employers instigating ACAS early conciliation can use this initiative as a tactic to defend any subsequent claim. However, approaching the employee first and making an offer, needs very careful consideration. If the offer is refused, the chances of then receiving a claim are likely to be far greater. This is because the employee may consider that the Company considers that it is at fault and is willing to negotiate.

For further information on this topic or our retained employment law service contact our team on 01625 87 4400