What is ACAS?
ACAS is a government funded body with a stated purpose to give employees and employers free, impartial advice on workplace rights, rules and best practice.
ACAS also plays a very important role before an individual makes a claim in the Employment Tribunal as they must tell ACAS before they do so. This is done online by completing a form which can be found at acas.org.uk. ACAS will then offer the individual ‘early conciliation’ and contact the individual to discuss their complaint further.
Once ACAS have spoken to the person who commenced the process they will then speak to their former (or current) employer separately about the dispute and report back to the individual. The ACAS officer assigned to the case will then act as a type of mediator between the parties with the goal of trying to come to an agreement without having to go to tribunal. If an agreement is reached, ACAS can help prepare a COT3 which records the terms reached (see our definition of what a COT3 document is).
If conciliation ends without an agreement having been reached, ACAS will issue a certificate which will have a start and an end date. An individual will need this certificate number when completing a form to issue a claim in the Employment Tribunal.
In most cases, if an individual does not go through ACAS first, the Employment Tribunal will not accept their claim.
If you have questions or need advice it is advisable to get advice from qualified, specialist employment solicitors. Please get in touch with us on 01483 303636 to discuss your situation and see how we can help.