When you submit your form to Acas we will automatically send an acknowledgement either to you or your representative if you have named one. This is usually sent by email, by post if not. The acknowledgement will provide you with a record of the key details you have given us – your name, the name of the organisation or person you want to make a tribunal claim against and the date of receipt. This means that you don’t need a screenshot of your form or to send in a hard copy form to retain these details because your acknowledgement provides this for you.
We will contact you as soon as we can after receiving your notification – the precise timing depends on the numbers of notifications we are dealing with at the same time, but we will always make contact within a few working days. When we contact you we will briefly explain Early Conciliation to you, check your details to make sure we’ve got them right, and ask you for a brief summary of what your claim is about. An Acas conciliator may then offer to discuss your case in more detail, both with you and your employer to see if it’s possible to help you both to resolve your differences without the need for a tribunal claim. If you have named a representative, then Acas will have these discussions with that person instead.
Please make sure that you provide the correct name and address for yourself and for the employer, individual or organisation you are complaining about (i.e. the respondent). You should be able to identify this by looking at the letter that offered you your job, your contract of employment or your payslip. It is important that you tell us the correct name (i.e. the "legal identity" of the respondent) because otherwise it could mean:
- having to make another notification - which could make you run out of time for making a tribunal claim; or
- having your tribunal claim rejected - if the name on the notification form does not correspond to the name on the tribunal form if it gets that far, the tribunal can reject your claim.
If you want to make a claim against more than one respondent (employer, individual or organisation) you must complete a separate form for each one even if it is all part of the same matter. Forms that contain more than one respondent will be rejected, causing a delay in your notification.
By default Early Conciliation offers a calendar month in which to try to reach settlement, but this can be longer or shorter depending on how useful it is in the circumstances. Each case is different.
The deadline for presenting a claim to tribunal is extended whilst discussions take place, so you don’t have to worry about preparing your claim, and your employer doesn’t have to worry about defending it in writing. You can both concentrate on resolving your differences. If it becomes apparent that Early Conciliation isn’t going to be able to help, we will draw it to a close and you will be free to pursue your claim to tribunal. You will have at least one calendar month after Early Conciliation in which to do this. Of course if you were already late for making a tribunal claim you will still be late when Early Conciliation is finished – it can’t wind the clock back. We can continue to help after the initial Early Conciliation period if more time is needed, and we will contact both parties again as or when you make a tribunal claim. First we try to help you both resolve your differences without the need for a claim to be made, and then we try to help you avoid the need for a hearing if a claim is made.
Any personal information you provide will be held securely and your personal information will not be sold or traded to third parties.
We believe it is important to evaluate our conciliation service in order to identify any improvements we could make, by surveying users. We would only pass on your information to an independent research organisation therefore, who might invite you to take part in a voluntary survey in connection with your application. Your personal information will still be held securely and will not be sold or traded to any third parties.