Have you received ACAS letter regarding one of your employees or Employment Tribunal Claim (ET3)?
Perhaps a former employee is claiming he was unfairly dismissed? Maybe an existing worker says that he has been discriminated at work? ACAS is the first step in legal proceedings when an unhappy employee considers taking legal action against you.
An employee may submit an ACAS conciliation request against you within three months (minus one day) from the day of the dismissal or the discriminatory act. If he or she does so, ACAS has one calendar month (plus additional two weeks if required) to contact you and try to resolve the situation without resorting to Tribunal assistance.
At this stage, you don’t have to do anything – ACAS cannot force you to take any steps or even take part in the conciliation process. However, it is good practice to engage in ACAS conciliation process. If the employee has a genuine case against you and a chance to be successful in the Tribunal it is a good idea to analyse the employment claim, obtain some legal advice and find a solution – it might save you a considerable amount of money in legal costs. If you don’t reach an agreement through ACAS, the employee is free to submit a case against you to the Tribunal. If he decides against doing so, nothing further happens.
Have you received ET3 form from an Employment Tribunal regarding one of your employees?
Unlike ACAS, you have to take part in Employment Tribunal proceedings if a case has been submitted against you. Once a claim is filed with Employment Tribunal, you will receive ET3 form and will have to file your response (using the ET3 form) within 28 calendar days. Unless you are a solicitor or an employment lawyer, we would strongly advise against filling the ET3 form without consultation with an employment lawyer. If you chose to ignore proceedings in the Employment Tribunal, an automatic default judgment will be issued against you without your presence or participation.
Whatever you do, do not ignore any letters or e-mails from an Employment Tribunal!
If a judgment is entered against you and you then fail to pay any sum ordered by Employment Tribunal, your employee would be free to instruct High Court Enforcement Officers – the bailiffs who have very wide powers and may be assisted by the Police. As a result, you would not only have to pay the judgment but also the fee of bailiffs and potentially bear other substantial enforcements costs.
Act before it’s too late!
If you have been contacted by ACAS or received ET3 form from the Employment Tribunal, why don’t you complete our form below and have a fee, no-obligation consultation with us?