Early conciliation, the process to help resolve workplace disputes before making an Employment Tribunal claim, is now a requirement. Previously, to bring a claim in the Employment Tribunal, proceedings were initiated by lodging an ET1 Claim Form. Now, however, you must first contact the Labour Relations Agency (LRA) regarding Early Conciliation.
Once the Conciliation officer makes contact with you, you can either request they attempt to talk to the other side with regards to conciliation or state you do not want to Conciliate. If you do not want to Conciliate you will receive a certificate containing a reference number that you will need to lodge your claim in the Tribunal.
If you wish to Conciliate, the officer will make contact with the other side to determine their views and, if the other side also wish to conciliate, the officer will attempt to resolve the matter. If an agreement is reached between the parties, it will be in the form of a conciliation agreement which is legally binding. If no agreement is reached, a certificate is issued which contains a reference number you will require if you desire to lodge proceedings