Many workplace issues can be resolved informally between the individual and their immediate line manager. However, this isn’t always possible and for more difficult matters, you should have a formal procedure in place. You should make your employees aware of where to find it, for example, in the staff handbook or on the intranet.
ACAS offers a conciliation service that is free of charge. It’s a voluntary process and its aim is to settle disputes without the stress and expense of attending Tribunal. The pre-claim conciliation service applies to disputes where the claim has not yet been lodged. Otherwise, the service is automatically offered once the claim is made.
The conciliator is impartial and has no authority to give legal advice, seek evidence, call witnesses, or make decisions or awards. The process involves the conciliator discussing the issues with both parties in order to help them reach a better understanding of each other's position and underlying interest. The parties are encouraged to come to an agreement between themselves, which is legally binding and concludes the matter.
Either party can ask for the service before the claim is lodged, if the dispute is one that could be taken to a tribunal. However, it is essential that all efforts are made to resolve the issue within the workplace before conciliation may proceed. The service is automatically offered once a claim is made.
Contact us for further information.