The Employment Tribunal fee regime has been abolished. This means that a disgruntled employee/ex-employee no longer has to pay a claim or hearing fee to pursue legal action in the Employment Tribunal against their employer/former-employer. All that they will need to do is submit an Early Conciliation Notification Form to ACAS to start ACAS pre-claim conciliation, obtain an ACAS certificate and lodge a claim in the Employment Tribunal.
This can all be done on line at no cost to the individual.
ACAS pre-claim conciliation is a compulsory requirement. Before an individual can issue a claim in the employment tribunal he or she will need a certificate from ACAS. If they submit a claim without an ACAS certificate number the Tribunal will strike out the claim.
There are time limits to make an employment tribunal claim, usually of three months. The Tribunal are very strict about time limits so therefore an individual intending to pursue a claim against their employer/former employer will need to start ACAS Pre-Claim Conciliation as soon as possible.
Once an individual has submitted their Early Conciliation Notification Form, ACAS will acknowledge this and an ACAS conciliator will then be allocated to them. The ACAS conciliator will contact the individual to discuss his/her claim with them and assess whether they are willing to consider settlement. If they are, then the ACAS conciliator will contact the employer/company and inform them of the intended claim and ask whether the employer is willing to consider and engage in settlement discussions to resolve the dispute.
Thomson Snell & Passmore’s employment team have a wealth of experience in acting for individuals and companies in bringing and defending claims. We believe that a company’s best chance of persuading an individual to either settle their claim for a sensible sum of money or see the claim off early on, is to clearly set out the legal basis of the company’s defence and the evidence to support the defence. In our experience this is often not done properly, giving the employee less reason to consider settlement and or dissuade them that they do not in fact have a valid claim or a claim with any reasonable prospects of success.