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Early Conciliation legislation finalised

Regulations outlining how Early Conciliation will work have been published.

The Employment Tribunals (Early Conciliation: Exemptions and Rules of Procedure) Regulations 2014 were laid before Parliament on 13 February and are coming into force on 6 April 2014.

Early Conciliation

From 6 April, anyone thinking of making an employment tribunal claim can notify Acas first, and we will try and help you reach a mutually satisfactory outcome. From 6 May, this step is required.

This new free service is called Early Conciliation, which will help employers and employees find a resolution to a dispute without the need for a tribunal hearing.

One benefit of the new service is that it will stop the clock on the tribunal time limitation, and allow up to an extra month to attempt to resolve the dispute before people hit the deadline for making a claim.

Acas Early Conciliation will help resolve most kinds of workplace disputes.

Once internal workplace procedures have been exhausted, conciliation at the earliest opportunity is quicker, cheaper and less stressful for all concerned than a tribunal hearing.

It will also save taxpayers some of the cost of running the tribunals system.

If Early Conciliation doesn't resolve the dispute, then the claimant will be able to lodge a tribunal claim.

Pre-Claim Conciliation

Early Conciliation will replace Acas' Pre-claim conciliation (PCC) service, which has been in operation since 2009.

The service deals with around 20,000 cases each year, and more than three-quarters of them are resolved without recourse to a tribunal.

To do so takes on average 23 days, compared to the many months that may be needed at tribunal. It's been calculated that PCC saves employers around £2,700 compared to taking legal action.

Acas publications and services

Acas can help you build effective working relationships, develop the way you manage discipline and grievances and explain how you can use mediation in your workplace; visit Disputes and mediation: how Acas can help.

Acas also offers practical training on Conflict management, including Dispute resolution and Mediation.

You can discuss any employment relations issue in confidence by calling the Acas Helpline on 0300 123 1100.

Visit the Acas Training Courses, Workshops and Projects area for more information.

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We recommend that you explore further information and advice available on this website, particularly within our Advice A-Z guidance pages. If you have questions about workplace rights and rules visit Helpline Online.

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