We were joined at our April meeting by Gill Mason, Senior Advisor for Acas Wales, whose area of responsibility covers South West & Mid Wales. Gill’s talk was mainly centred on the new Employment Tribunal claims process introduced this month in an attempt to reduce the number of claims to Employment Tribunals.
Gill enlightened the businesses present at the meeting on Acas’s role in “Early Conciliation” which is a significant change to the previous Employment Tribunal claims process. She advised us on the new process, including timescales (effective from 6th April 2014), for employees wishing to lodge Employment Tribunal claim. From this date employees will now, first need to contact Acas, who will then offer a new, free service, called Early Conciliation to try and resolve the dispute quickly and cost effectively. If an employee still wants to lodge a tribunal claim after undergoing this process, they are able to do so but will need to pay a fee in order to progress their claim via an Employment Tribunal.
The Second part of her talk was on the range of support services Acas provide to Organisations. Employment law is such a dry subject and sometimes difficult for employers to grasp. Nevertheless, Gill managed to get her message over in a relatively jargon free way which was appreciated by our group.