From today, 1 December 2020, the Acas Early Conciliation process is changing. The standard period for Acas Early Conciliation will become 6 weeks in all cases. Previously, parties had an initial 4 weeks which could be extended with consent for a further 2 weeks.
Importantly, the Early Conciliation process can still end at any point, through either settlement or a party requesting an end to conciliation.
It is understood that the change to a standard 6 week period is in part designed to assist Acas deal with an increasing backlog of cases (of which there are still over 40,000).
Graham Irons comments:
“Changing the Acas Early Conciliation process to a standard 6 weeks is sensible given the frequency with which it was previously extended to 6 weeks under the old rules.
Whether the change will make a material impact on the backlog of employment claims remains to be seen. However, with claims expected to rise even further due to the economic turmoil caused by COVID-19 and the end of the furlough scheme, Acas will doubtless be grateful for any assistance”.
If you require any assistance or have any questions regarding the changed Acas Early Conciliation period or a potential employment claim, please do not hesitate to get in touch with a member of the Howes Percival Employment Team.
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