If you have an employee who is bringing a formal grievance against you or your other members of staff, they may intend to make a claim in the Employment Tribunal. It is compulsory for an employee to contact Acas under the Acas Early Conciliation Scheme before they can lodge their claims in the Employment Tribunal.
If your employee or former employee has contacted the Acas Early Conciliation service, we will contact you to offer “early conciliation” if they agree to us doing this. This gives you the opportunity of coming to an agreement without having to go to an Employment Tribunal. You do not have to take part in talks but this may be beneficial as it can save you time and money.
If you come to an agreement, this can be finalised using a Settlement Agreement or a COT3. This is a legally binding agreement which means that your employee or former employee is not able to make a claim in the Employment Tribunal against you or the company. If you do not think that there is a strong claim against you, this is your opportunity to make it clear that you will not pay any compensation. You might also have a strong enough defence to make costs warnings that if they make unreasonable claims, you will ask the Employment Tribunal to make them pay the costs of defending these. If you do not reach an agreement, a certificate will be issued which will need to be referred to in the claim.
We would advise that you seek specialist Employment Law advice so that any dispute can be dealt with efficiently and economically. This includes defending strong claims rather than paying compensation.