Q: I am considering putting in a claim to the employment tribunal as my ex employer dismissed me and I think it was unfair. What do I have to do now?
A. You will need to notify ACAS through its early conciliation scheme that you are considering making a complaint against your ex employer for most employment tribunal claims.
You have to telephone ACAS or complete and submit a form online. ACAS then try to conciliate between you and your ex employer to promote an early settlement.
There is a three month time limit for lodging an unfair dismissal claim with an employment tribunal. You now must notify ACAS within the three month period. This will effectively stop the clock from ticking for up to a calendar month (and sometimes a further 14 days). If the parties cannot be contacted or settlement cannot be reached, ACAS issue an early conciliation certificate which will then enable you to lodge a claim at the employment tribunal within the remaining time.
In very limited cases, you will not have to go through early conciliation before going to an employment tribunal. If you have any queries, you should seek expert advice to ensure you lodge your complaint within the appropriate time limits.
Martin Bloom, partner and Head of Employment Law
*Previously printed in the Stamford Mercury and Peterborough Telegraph