In almost all cases, employees must now provide certain information to ACAS before lodging a Tribunal claim. ACAS must attempt to promote settlement within a prescribed period. Employees will not be able to submit a claim until the required information has been submitted. However, either the employee or the employer may choose to opt out of the conciliation process and the claim can then proceed.
Voluntary from 6 April 2014, mandatory from 6 May 2014.
This will give employers advance notice of potential claims, which could prove useful, whether or not settlement is viable. However, in intractable cases this will simply add a further layer of complexity to the procedure.
A link to the ACAS guidance is here.