The EAT has recently provided some clarity on the issue of ACAS EC and the interplay with the Tribunal’s discretion in amending and/or adding a Respondent to the Tribunal claim.
In the first case, (Mist v Derby Community NHS Trust) the Claimant spelt the 1st Respondent’s name correctly on the ET1 but misspelt it on the ACAS EC form thus the certificate and ET1 differed slightly. This was subsequently challenged as the 2nd Respondent argued that the Claimant had failed to comply with ACAS EC. The EAT said that the Claimant had to provide prescribed information to ACAS including the prospective Respondent’s name but not its full legal title. If the relevant information is missing ACAS can reject the notification but if it did not then the Tribunal is entitled to treat an ACAS EC Certificate as conclusive of the Claimant’s compliance.
Also in this case and a case also recently heard in the EAT of Drake International Systems Ltd v Blue Arrow Ltd, the EAT said that the decision to add a second Respondent to the proceedings was an amendment to an existing claim and therefore did not require an additional EC notification. In the later case it was said that it mattered not that the Respondent being added was not named in the EC certificate.
The decision to add or amend a Respondent to the Tribunal claim was a case management decision for which the Employment Tribunal has a discretion to exercise in accordance with the principles of Selkent Bus.