New ACAS Chair announced
Sir Brendan Barber has been announced as the new Chair of the ACAS Council. His career has been almost exclusively within the TUC where he held the post of General Secretary from 2003 to 2012. He will start as Chair of ACAS in the New Year serving a three year term.
The first year of Sir Brendan’s appointment will coincide with the introduction (on 6 April 2014) of mandatory pre-claim ACAS conciliation. This is a new, four-stage early conciliation scheme whereby a potential claimant will need to provide details of their dispute to ACAS and a conciliation officer will make contact with the claimant to establish whether they want conciliation to take place. The conciliation officer will then try to promote a settlement. If a settlement is not reached, the conciliation officer must issue a certificate to that effect. Generally, the potential claimant will be unable to pursue an Employment Tribunal claim without this certificate.
The pre-claim conciliation scheme will "stop the clock" on the limitation period on presenting a claim to the Employment Tribunal because the period of conciliation will be one month which can be extended by a further two weeks.