POA Circulars

41 | 16.04.2014

LEGAL - ACAS - Early Conciliation

Early Conciliation was first mooted in the Governments’ consultation document “Resolving Workplace Disputes” in 2011.

The statutory provisions to implement are set out in sections 7-9 in schedules 1 and 2 of the Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Act 2013.

On the 13th February 2014, further legislation, most noticeably, amendments to the Employment Tribunal Rules of Procedure, were laid before Parliament.

Early Conciliation requires all prospective claimants to contact ACAS and be issued with an Early Conciliation Certificate before an employment tribunal can be lodged.

Early Conciliation applies to employment tribunal claims lodged on or after the 6th May 2014. Therefore, the National Executive Committee have considered these changes with our retained Solicitors, Thompsons and established a process to ensure members claims are protected and dealt with appropriately. Early Conciliation may present opportunities and threats to Unions. The National Executive Committee sees this as another hurdle for our members to overcome to gain access to justice. To this end, we have instructed Thompsons to represent members and go on the record with ACAS to ensure our members are not disadvantaged.

It is clear that the provisions of employment legislation are providing more protection to the employer and making it more difficult for workers to access justice. The POA prides itself on providing the most appropriate cost effective and professional representation to workers within the criminal justice system, at local and national level and through the legal system.

The National Executive Committee will continue to monitor changes which affect members and ensure these changes are introduced to our legal scheme to provide the best representation to our members.

Please draw the contents of this circular to your members.

Yours sincerely

General Secretary