2004 was a good year for bad ideas in the employment litigation field. One of the minor bits of foolishness was to limit the involvement of ACAS in most cases to specific conciliation periods. This meant that, in many cases, by the time both sides were ready to talk ACAS had already withdrawn their help.
ACAS did have a discretion to extend the conciliation periods, but tended to exercise it carefully in an attempt to implement the government’s intentions.
Since the government has now reversed themselves and intends to abolish conciliation in the new Employment Bill, ACAS has decided to change its approach. From the 1st April it will exercise its discretion to extend the conciliation period in all case. In practice, this means that there will be no time-limit on ACAS conciliation.
Thanks to Daniel Barnett, who’s bulletin brought us the good news.