Early Conciliation leniency

This case is an Early Conciliation case. Like our previous case on this topic, it suggests the court will be lenient towards potential Claimant’s human error during the process of early conciliation.

Ms Adams, the Claimant was a finance manager at British Telecom, the Respondent. Upon termination of her employment the Claimant proceeded with ACAS Early Conciliation. After the conciliation process was concluded she was given an Early Conciliation certificate and deadline by which to submit her tribunal claim.

The Claimant then proceeded to lodge her claim against the Respondent, however, she input the incorrect early conciliation number on her ET1 form. The ET informed her of this and she resubmitted the ET1 with the correct conciliation number but it was two days late.

The ET rejected the claim because it was reasonable to expect the claim to be submitted on time. The Claimant appealed and the EAT allowed the appeal. It held that rejecting the claim due to a minor error deprived the Claimant the ability to seek redress for her dismissal.

Earlier cases involving Early Conciliation suggested that the ET would be strict on any prospective Claimants who made mistakes or did not engage with conciliation. However, recent decisions suggest employers will no longer be able rely on Early Conciliation errors getting claims dismissed as Judges will be lenient towards honest mistakes.