Stage 1 - ACAS Early Conciliation


This service helps you to navigate the ACAS early conciliation procedure, which can help you come to a quick settlement with your employer without needing to proceed to a full tribunal.

With this service, JMW will review and offer feedback on the offers you submit and receive as part of the process, and help you to review any draft COT3 settlement agreements you receive.

Buy Now View more information

If you are looking to resolve your employment dispute quickly through the ACAS Early Conciliation process, JMW Solicitors offers a standalone support package to help you reach a settlement as quickly as possible.

The ACAS early conciliation process maximises your chances of avoiding a full employment tribunal by achieving a quick settlement with your employer, without needing to proceed to a full employment tribunal. Please note that early conciliation is mandatory if you want/have to bring a claim in the tribunal - if you do go through this process, you cannot take your claim to a tribunal. 

Our early conciliation support package is best suited to those who wish to take action for unfair dismissal or cases involving owed pay, such as redundancy, holiday or notice pay. It is unlikely to be suitable for complex cases.

Purchase this service today if you are looking for a cost-effective solution to your employment dispute and receive immediate access to JMW’s support package on all aspects of early conciliation. Once you have submitted your details, you will hear back from us within 48 hours.

What the Early Conciliation Service Offers

Through this service, our highly experienced employment law team can assist you with the ACAS early conciliation process for a flat rate of £200.

For this fee, the offers you send and receive as part of the conciliation process will be reviewed, and comments and advice will be provided to help you maximise your chances of success. This service will also include a review of any draft COT3 agreements created through the conciliation process at no additional cost, which will help you to fully understand the legal implications of the proposed settlement before you commit to it.
By getting the right legal advice, you can achieve the best possible chance of securing a fair settlement and receive guidance on whether it would be suitable to proceed to a tribunal claim if you are not able to secure an offer that satisfies you.

If you are considering purchasing the ACAS early conciliation support package for unfair, constructive or redundancy dismissal, you should have at least two years of service for the employer you are making a claim against.

It is also vital that all the information you provide to us is completely accurate, or you run the risk of your claim not being properly presented.

Also, if you have already been through the employment tribunal process and your claim was unsuccessful, you are not able to reclaim. However, we are able to review your case if you have been turned down by another solicitor.

Employers typically have 28 days to respond to matters raised in an employment tribunal. In some cases, this timeframe may be expanded. Late submissions and failures to respond will mean decisions may be made with the employer at a hearing. 

The standalone support service is specifically aimed at those looking to settle their case through early conciliation. Instead of paying upfront for a complete tribunal service, you can choose to pay a smaller one-off fee for simple and straightforward guidance with each part of the process, designed to provide an affordable and cost-effective service.

How the Early Conciliation Process Works

The early conciliation process must commence within three months minus one day from the date of dismissal/your last day of employment. If the case relates to statutory redundancy pay, the deadline is extended to six months minus one day; however, if you are challenging the fairness of the redundancy, the three-months-less-one-day deadline applies.

Initiating the process involves filling out a notification form with ACAS and working with a conciliation officer to explain the problem, before reaching out to the employer to see if they are willing to agree on a settlement offer. If you receive a reasonable offer, you may wish to accept it and close the case; if not, you can try to ask for a better offer, or decline the proposed settlement and move on to issue your claim.

In cases where an offer is accepted, the resulting settlement will be laid out in a legally binding document called a COT3 agreement - this lays out the full sequence of actions that both parties will be expected to take to uphold the terms of the settlement. Meanwhile, if the conciliation process is unsuccessful, ACAS will issue an early conciliation certificate to show that the process was completed, allowing you to move forward to a tribunal.

It is worth bearing in mind that an ACAS conciliation officer will be completely impartial, and will not work to protect your interests in the same way that a solicitor would. They will explain the strengths and weaknesses of a claim, and offer advice on whether a set of demands are realistic, but they will not provide either party with guidance on how to win, or work to help you find ways to strengthen your claim - this kind of support will only be provided if you seek the assistance of a qualified solicitor.

Going into the early conciliation process with the right expectations will put you in the best position to achieve the outcome you seek.


What is early conciliation?

In the simplest terms, conciliation is a process through which unfairly/constructively dismissed employees and their bosses can communicate their respective intentions and demands to each other, in the hope of reaching a legal agreement that can settle the case before the tribunal process begins.

Employees can, for example, use this opportunity to secure a reference for future employers, or set out a financial settlement that would be sufficient to persuade them not to take the case any further. ACAS - the government body in charge of resolving workplace disputes - is responsible for overseeing and coordinating this process, and their service is free.

The term “early conciliation” refers specifically to conciliation processes that are initiated before the tribunal claim has begun; it is also possible to try and initiate conciliation at a later stage, but starting it as early as possible offers the best chance of a rapid resolution and is the compulsory first step in the tribunal process: miss it out and you cannot claim.

Get Help Today

Purchase our early conciliation support package today to receive access to this service. Once you have submitted your details, you will hear back from us within 48 hours.

Let us contact you


COVID-19 Update - Our website and phone lines are operating as normal and our teams are on hand to deal with all enquiries. Meetings can be conducted via telephone and video conferencing.

View our Privacy Policy