Early conciliation

Conciliation up to and during a tribunal claim

'Conciliation' is when you and the respondent talk through Acas to try to reach agreement up to and during an employment tribunal.

Conciliation will not affect the outcome of a tribunal. If you and the respondent still do not reach agreement, the tribunal will continue until the judge makes a final decision.

What happens in conciliation

Acas is impartial, which means we're not on either side. We're there to see if an agreement can be reached without a tribunal. 

Acas conciliators can:

  • explain the conciliation process 
  • talk through the issues with both sides 
  • talk through possible options 
  • discuss how you may be able to solve the dispute without going to tribunal 

Conciliators are not able to:

  • take sides 
  • represent either side 
  • tell you whether to agree on a settlement 
  • say how strong or weak your case is 
  • help you prepare your case for tribunal 
  • make a judgement on how your case could turn out 

We will not share anything with anyone else without your permission.

If you reach an agreement 

Once you and the respondent reach an agreement, the employment tribunal hearing will not go ahead, or will end if it's started.  

We'll write up what you have both agreed in a settlement form called a 'COT3'.

It's important that the agreement is right for you. Once you and the respondent agree to it, you'll have to keep to the agreement – even if you have not signed it yet. A settlement is legally binding.

We'll send the COT3 to both you and the respondent to sign.

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