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Acas Early Conciliation

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 Thanks to Jamie Anderson of Trinity Chambers for preparing this case summary

Is an employment tribunal prevented from adding a Respondent to proceedings where the Respondent being added is not named on the Early Conciliation certificate?

No, held the EAT in Drake International Systems Ltd and Others v Blue Arrow Ltd.

Having commenced proceedings, the Claimant (a transferee seeking to claim against a transferor) sought to amend the claim to add four subsidiary companies as Respondents.

Upholding the decision to allow the amendment, Langstaff P held that a claim had been properly instituted. The subsequent decision to allow the addition of a Respondent was a case management decision in which the employment tribunal has a discretion to be exercised in accordance with the longstanding principles set out in Selkent Bus Co v Moore [1996] ICR 836.

The case is worth a read as Langstaff P sets out a number of policy considerations underlying the Early Conciliation regime. He concludes by noting that a "happy consequence" of his reasoning is that satellite litigation (as occurred under the now repealed dispute resolution procedures) could be avoided.