The change in legislation means that anyone who wishes to lodge a claim with the Industrial or Fair Employment Tribunal must first notify us at the Labour Relations Agency and discuss the option of Early Conciliation. Most potential claimants will not be able to proceed to tribunal without at least considering this option. It is also important to remember that where cases do proceed to tribunal, parties could be penalised if they haven't first adhered to the steps set out in the LRA's Code of Practice on Discipline and Grievance.
Employee-led Early Conciliation
Employees, or the employee's representative, can make an Early Conciliation notification by completing our online form. Please note that one form is needed for each prospective respondent to the case. One of our Conciliation Officers will get in touch, usually within five working days, to explain Early Conciliation and ask if there is willingness to try it. The deadline for lodging a claim with the Tribunal (usually 3 months from the date of the alleged incident or behaviour) will be put on hold for up to one calendar month to allow conciliation to be explored.
Conciliation usually takes place through a few phonecalls, or occasionally with a meeting. The aim is to arrive at a resolution to the dispute that both parties can agree to, without the stress and cost of going to tribunal. Where parties do not wish to try conciliation, or where it does not bring an agreed resolution, we will issue a certificate that the employee will need if proceeding to lodge a tribunal claim.
Employer-led Early Conciliation
An employer or employer's representative can make an Early Conciliation notification if they are dealing with a dispute which could end in a tribunal claim. After receiving the completed online form, one of our Conciliation Officers will be in touch. We will also need the employer to get permission from the employee for us to make contact. Sometimes there is more than one employee with a particular dispute. Early Conciliation can be requested using our online form for between one and four employees. If there are five or more employees with the same dispute, please give us a ring on 03300 552 220.
If all parties are willing to try conciliation, we will set up a virtual meeting with the aim of agreeing a resolution without the stress and cost of a tribunal. Where conciliation does not reach agreement we will send a letter to both parties confirming contact with the Labour Relations Agency. The employee may then proceed to tribunal without making an Early Conciliation notification.
Representatives (for multiple claimants) for both Employees and Employers
Representatives acting on behalf of multiple claimants with the same employer/respondent will need to fill in a dedicated Bulk Submission Spreadsheet providing the Agency with all of the required information necessary for the notification. This spreadsheet can be downloaded by clicking here. Once completed, this spreadsheet then needs to be uploaded via the Early Conciliation online web portal at https://ec-lra.org.uk and selecting the appropriate option from the Multiple Case Submissions Section. However, if there are going to be more than five claimants please give us a call first on 03300 552 220 and you will be transferred to an appropriate Employment Relations Manager.