Employment Law Bulletin April 2014

Tuesday 29 April 2014

Welcome

Another big month in the employment law world. From 6 May, employees must notify ACAS (by telephone, or by filling in a form which can be posted or submitted online) before they are allowed to bring an employment tribunal claim.

If the employee does not tell ACAS before lodging their tribunal claim, the claim will automatically be rejected. If the employee does tell ACAS that they intend to bring a claim, ACAS will try to help both sides settle. Either side can refuse to negotiate, in which case the employee can go to the tribunal. Conciliation can last for up to six weeks, if everyone agrees a settlement is feasible, and the employee then gets at least a month from conciliation failing to bring a tribunal claim (the time limit rules are complex, but it is always at least a month after the ACAS conciliation ends).

This should be good news for employers, who will not find a tribunal claim form landing on their doorstep unexpectedly. That said, many employers will be tempted to wait and see whether the employee will pay the £250 fee to start their tribunal claim proper. According to statistics published last month, two-thirds of employees do not.

Even more changes

A number of new processes, penalties and pay limits came into effect on 6 April. In summary: