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New practice: Acas changes period within which parties must try early conciliation before Employment Tribunal claims proceed

Employers should note that ACAS early conciliation timescales are changing from 1 December 2020.

November 2020

This update was published in Legal Alert - November 2020

Legal Alert is a monthly checklist from Atom Content Marketing highlighting new and pending laws, regulations, codes of practice and rulings that could have an impact on your business.

Early conciliation rules say that anyone proposing to bring a claim in the Employment Tribunals must first go through a free, impartial ‘early conciliation’ scheme run by Acas. Previously, the rules said that Acas would ‘endeavour to promote a settlement’ for a month, although this period could be extended for up to 14 days if a settlement looked likely as the expiry date approached.

From 1 December 2020 the one-month conciliation period is extended to six weeks in every case, and the ability to extend the period by 14 days is abolished.

Operative date

  • 1 December 2020


  • Employers will need to plan to reach a settlement within the new time period if they are to avoid Employment Tribunal claims proceeding because settlement could not be reached in time.

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