Other than in limited circumstances, all claimants must complete ACAS early conciliation (“EC”) before the tribunal will accept their claim. During conciliation ACAS will attempt to promote a settlement between the parties, if this is what the parties want. Generally, this will involve the claimant (or their adviser) either submitting an EC form online or by post, or telephoning ACAS who will complete the EC form for them. If the claimant is considering a claim against more than one respondent, they will need to complete an EC form in respect of each potential respondent.

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ACAS conciliation

If the claimant wishes ACAS to attempt to facilitate a settlement, ACAS will try to contact the respondent. ACAS will seek to negotiate between the parties for up to four weeks (although this time can be extended by two weeks). If ACAS is unable to broker a settlement, it will issue an EC certificate. The claimant will need to add the number of their EC certificate to their employment tribunal form, which is known as an ET1.

If the claimant does not wish the respondent to be contacted or a settlement to be negotiated, ACAS will simply issue an EC certificate and the claimant can proceed with issuing their claim.

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Employment tribunals

A claimant must use the standard ET1 form to present a claim to the employment tribunal. The ET1 is available to complete or download from the government website.

The ET1 is the first impression that the tribunal has of the claimant’s case. If it is not presented clearly and succinctly, the claim may be rejected. Therefore, it is important to formulate the claim in a cogent manner and to include sufficient detail to enable the tribunal to understand the issues in the case and for the respondent to understand the case it has to answer (thereby reducing the potential for an application for further particulars to be served). In particular, the ET1 should also identify how the facts correspond with the statutory test for the particular claim that is being brought.

It is advisable that an employment law solicitor is instructed to complete the ET1 form on your behalf. Our employment law solicitors have in depth knowledge of employment tribunal procedures and can ensure that all elements of your claim are accurately detailed.

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