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Early Conciliation will help more people resolve disputes quickly

Next spring, Acas will be offering Early Conciliation. The new service comes as part of a number of changes to employment law contained in the Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Bill, currently nearing the end of its passage through Parliament.

From 2014, anyone thinking about taking a claim to an employment tribunal will be obliged to contact Acas first. Acas will then offer Early Conciliation and if the parties agree, it will have up to a month to find a resolution.

The aim is to reach a quick, cost effective outcome without having to go to a tribunal. The service will be free and voluntary, and a claimant may go on to lodge a claim, provided that Acas confirms that settlement was not possible.

Early Conciliation will succeed Acas' highly successful Pre-Claim Conciliation service, which already helps thousands of people resolve their disputes every year without recourse to a tribunal.

The practical details of how the Early Conciliation service will operate are currently under consultation.

Acas offers training courses in Conflict management to help your organisation improve workplace relations. Visit the Acas training and business solutions area for more information.

To get advice or help with disputes, or to request the Pre-Claim Conciliation service, call the Acas Helpline on 0300 123 1100.

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