Employee-led Early Conciliation

From 27 January 2020 anyone who wishes to lodge a claim with the Industrial or Fair Employment Tribunal must first notify the Labour Relations Agency and discuss the option of Early Conciliation. You will not be able to proceed to tribunal without at least considering this option.

What is Early Conciliation?

Early Conciliation is a free service provided by the Labour Relations Agency to help employers and employees to resolve disputes without the stress and cost of going through a public tribunal hearing.  The service is confidential, impartial and there is no charge. 

Conciliation usually takes place through a series of phonecalls but occasionally we'll meet with the parties to discuss the issues and try to help them resolve the dispute.  An agreement reached through conciliation (a settlement) is legally binding.  Where agreement isn't reached, or when either party does not wish to try conciliation, we will issue the employee with a certificate which will be needed if proceeding to tribunal.

Getting started

Employees, or the employee's representative, can make an Early Conciliation notification by completing our online form. Please note if there is more than one prospective respondent in the case, the employee or employee's representative will need to make an Early Conciliation notification for each respondent. One of our Conciliation Officers will get in touch, usually within five working days.  We will explain how Early Conciliation works, ask if there is willingness to try it and ask for permission to contact the employer or the employer's representative.

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. 

Checklist of what you need

  1. Do you have your National Insurance Number?
  2. Do you have the legal name and address of the employer?
  3. Do you have contact details for the employer and any representatives (e.g. legal, trade union or other representatives) we'll need to contact?

Start your Early Conciliation notification

From 27 January 2020 if you are planning to lodge a claim with the Industrial or Fair Employment Tribunal it is a legal requirement to notify us first and consider the option of Early Conciliation.

Last updated: 25 January 2021