Contact list for early ACAS conciliation
Having been available since 6 April, early ACAS conciliation is mandatory from today. Before raising a tribunal claim, prospective claimants must submit an ‘early conciliation form’ to ACAS.
As we had anticipated, it is being reported that once the employee has requested early conciliation, the initial call from ACAS is not going through to HR, but to whoever is named by the employee e.g. their line manager or disciplinary hearer.
ACAS have set up a contact list whereby organisations can stipulate who calls should go to – this is intended for organisations with over 1000 employees, but they are reportedly accepting smaller organisations at this stage. If you would like to register a named individual for ACAS to contact in the event of early conciliation being requested, you should email ECcontactslist@acas.org.uk.
If you are going to name an individual, it would be good practice to circulate their contact details within the business and advise relevant staff that, in the event of contact from ACAS, they must:
- Not discuss any details in relation to the matter;
- Not agree, or refuse, to take part in early conciliation;
- Immediately refer ACAS to the central contact.
Also, it would be helpful to decide whether, following the initial call from ACAS, you will want to negotiate with ACAS directly or refer calls to an external solicitor or other representative. If you are planning to manage early conciliation within your organisation, consider what training or guidance will be needed for staff dealing with ACAS.