New rules on ACAS Early Conciliation have come into force. The Employment Tribunals (Constitution and Rules of Procedure) (Early Conciliation: Exemptions and Rules of Procedure) (Amendment) Regulations 2020 amends the Employment Tribunals (Constitution and Rules of Procedure) Regulations 2013 (the “2013 Regulations”) and the Employment Tribunals (Early Conciliation: Exemptions and Rules of Procedure) Regulations 2014 (the “2014 Regulations”) to allow for improved, more proportionate case management of claims. It also intends to provide more flexibility over judicial resources by allowing legal officers to carry out delegated administrative judicial tasks, and for other court and tribunal judges to sit in the employment tribunal should the need arise.
The time for ACAS Early Conciliation has been changed to a standard six week Early Conciliation process for all cases, rather than a default one month with a possible extension of a further two weeks.
Legal officers will carry out some of the tasks performed by employment judges. They will not decide substantive matters and don’t have to be legally qualified. Some of the tasks they will carry out include;
– considering acceptance or rejection of claim forms
– extending time for an ET3 or for compliance with case management orders
– giving permission to amend claims and responses when both parties consent
– ordering further information
– dismissing claims by consent upon withdrawal