Thanks to Ed McFarlane of Deminos HR for preparing this case summary.
Does an Acas Early Conciliation certificate only apply to matters that have taken place before the certificate is issued?
No, held the EAT in Compass Group v Morgan.
The EAT dismissed the employee's appeal against a finding that an employment tribunal had jurisdiction to hear a claim of constructive dismissal where the employee resigned after the early conciliation certificate had been issued. There is no statutory requirement in the Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Act 2013 for the matters complained of to pre-date an early conciliation certificate. The obligation to provide Acas with the prescribed information 'relating to any matter' is flexible language capable of a broad meaning.
The EAT accepted a link should be established between the matters raised in early conciliation and those in the claim form, but there was scope to challenge such matters. The EAT did not anticipate such challenges, and regarded the prospect in such disputes of Acas officers giving evidence as to matters raised in early conciliation as undesirable, and unnecessary, save in exceptional circumstances.