Since the ACAS early conciliation process come into force, Claimants must get a certificate for each Respondent they intend to sue. Failure to do so permits a tribunal to prevent any claim against a Respondent for whom the Claimant does not have a certificate.
In this recent case, two companies ran a Specsavers store as a joint venture. The Claimant got one ACAS certificate but for the company that was not his employer, so that claim was struck out. He did not get a certificate for the company who employed him and the tribunal refused to allow him to add them to the proceedings due to the lack of an ACAS certificate.
The case stresses the importance on checking that the correct Respondent is named and that a valid ACAS certificate has been obtained for them.