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Employers should note that Acas early conciliation timescales are changing from 1 December 2020.
Early conciliation rules say that anyone proposing to bring a claim in the Employment Tribunals must first go through a free, impartial ‘early conciliation’ scheme run by Acas. Previously, the rules said that Acas would ‘endeavour to promote a settlement’ for a month, although this period could be extended for up to 14 days if a settlement looked likely as the expiry date approached.
From 1 December 2020 the one-month conciliation period is extended to six weeks in every case, and the ability to extend the period by 14 days is abolished.
Employers will need to plan to reach a settlement within the new time period if they are to avoid Employment Tribunal claims proceeding because settlement could not be reached in time.