No, held the Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) in Pryce v Baxterstorey Ltd.
It is a requirement of Employment law that an employee must attempt to resolve any dispute via mediation with ACAS. This early conciliation is designed to avoid proceedings where possible. If unsuccessful, ACAS issues an early conciliation certificate number and the matter proceeds to trial.
in Pryce v Baxterstorey Ltd. the Claimant had lodged their claim on the day of dismissal and before obtaining an early conciliation certificate number. This was obtained and provided a few days and added to the clam form. At trial this was spotted by the judge and the claim was rejected on the grounds that the Claimant had not complied with the requirements of bringing a claim and therefore the Tribunal had no jurisdiction. The Claimant appealed.
Rejecting the appeal, the EAT held that:
The Claimant’s email resending the early conciliation certificate number only could not be considered a “re-presentation” of the claim as Rule 8 of the ET Rules requires a completed ET1 be sent to the Tribunal when representing a claim; and there was no jurisdiction to waive the requirement to re-present the claim since, if there was, it would undermine the express statutory provision in section 18A(8) of the ETA 1996.
This is a clear statement by the EAT that employees must comply with the requirements when presenting a claim.
Please note that this advice is general in nature. As an RMI member you have access to the RMI Legal advice line, as well as a number of industry experts for your assistance. Should you find yourself in the situation above, contact us at any stage for advice and assistance as appropriate.
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