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ACAS Conciliation to be compulsory from 2014
From 6 April 2014, all Employment Tribunal claimants will have to use the ACAS Conciliation Service before starting their claim. The service is free and applies to a wide range of claims including unfair dismissal, discrimination, wrongful dismissal and equal pay.
The conciliation facility is already open to parties but is not mandatory. In 2012, ACAS conciliated in over 13,000 claims and this is now set to increase massively. The rationale for making it compulsory is to encourage settlement out of court. This will save the government money of course but whether it will save money for employers and employees will depend on the extent to which they use lawyers in the conciliation process and whether employers are persuaded to settle early.
From 2014 there will be a stark contrast between a quick deal through ACAS and the expense of the tribunal where fees are now payable and there is now a greater risk of the loser being ordered to pay costs.
For further advice, please contact the employment team at Tozers on 01392 207020 or email firstname.lastname@example.org