All those bringing a case against their employer must notify Acas of your potential claim before issuing your case in the Employment Tribunal.
Acas has published statistics showing the impact of the first year of Early Conciliation. There were more than 83,000 Early Conciliation cases between April 2014 and March 2015.
Of the Early Conciliation notifications received between April 2014 and December 2014, 63% did not proceed to a Tribunal claim, 15% resulted in a formal COT3 settlement and 22% progressed to Tribunal claim.
For all those concerned about access to justice, the fact that 63% did not proceed is worrying. The likelihood is that this is due to expensive Tribunal fees for employees, together with a lack of specialist employment law advice due to the closure of Law Centres.
This is why we are launching our Early Conciliation Advice Service to advise employees of the merits of their case and also how much it is worth.
If you have submitted your case for Acas Conciliation we will assess it to ensure you do not give up a good case or settle for less than the claim is worth.
In a straightforward case we would expect to assess your case and provide a written advice within three hours. We provide this service for a discounted rate of £150 per hour plus VAT.
Discrimination, whistleblowing and cases which include multiple claims are likely to require more than three hours of work at our discounted rate of £150 per hour plus VAT. We will agree with you in advance how many hours we should spend.
If you require us to undertake negotiations on your behalf then we can provide further assistance. We will provide an hourly quote at our usual rates depending on the experience and seniority of the lawyer. We can also assist you by providing advice for you to negotiate yourself. The aim being to secure a COT3 or a Settlement Agreement on the best possible terms.
In many cases employers will wait to see if a claimant is prepared to pay the issuing fee of £250 before settling. We will provide detailed advice on costs so that you can fund this privately and will always ensure that the costs are proportionate to what you are likely to receive.
If you cannot afford legal fees but have strong prospects of success, your employer is solvent, and your case is of sufficient value we can offer you a Damages Based Agreement (no-win no-fee terms). These will require you to pay Tribunal fees and other disbursements (e.g. GP notes, medical reports, travel expenses). You will only pay us if we win or settle, at an agreed percentage of your compensation.