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If an employee obtains an ACAS Early Conciliation Certificate after lodging an ET1, will sending it to the tribunal remedy the procedural defect of issuing an ET1 without a certificate?

No, held the EAT in Pryce v Baxterstorey Ltd.

The Claimant had lodged an ET1 without first obtaining an early conciliation certificate number. A few days later, she sent an email to the tribunal enclosing a copy of a certificate she had obtained in the meantime. Though initially allowed to proceed, her claims were later dismissed by the tribunal for lack of jurisdiction. The Claimant appealed.

Rejecting the appeal, the EAT held that:

  1. The Claimant’s sending of the certificate could not be considered a “re-presentation” of the claim since rule 8 of the ET Rules required a completed ET1 be sent to the tribunal; and
  2. There was no jurisdiction to waive the requirement to present a new claim which post-dated the date of the early conciliation certificate. To do otherwise would undermine the express provisions of s18A(8) Employment Tribunals Act 1996.

Thanks to Barnaby Large of No.18 Barristers Chambers for preparing this case summary.