Compass Group UK & Ireland Ltd v Morgan UKEAT/0060/16

This case confirms that an employee who resigns after the ACAS early conciliation certificate is issued can validly bring a complaint of unfair dismissal as long as the resignation is connected to the events which first prompted the employee to contact ACAS.

The Claimant was asked by her employer to work at an alternative location and in a less senior role. Not long after, the Claimant registered a potential claim with ACAS under the Early Conciliation procedure and obtained an Early Conciliation certificate. Six weeks later, the Claimant resigned and filed an ET1 alleging unfair constructive dismissal. The Claimant's employer challenged the acceptance of the ET1 on the grounds that the procedural requirements had not been fulfilled because the Claimant had not yet resigned at the time that ACAS issued the Early Conciliation certificate.

The Court took a broad view of the requirements and held that there was a sufficient connection between the matters detailed in the claim form and those complained about in the Early Conciliation certificate. Consequently, the Claimant's claim was accepted.

Whilst this decision is plainly not helpful for employers, we do not consider that it gives employees a "free pass" to bring proceedings if the matters are unrelated to the Early Conciliation certificate.