ACAS has now published the first six months’ figures showing how early conciliation is working since it became compulsory for prospective cases in the employment tribunal in May 2014. The key figures are as follows:-
- ACAS has conciliated in 37,000 cases, of which about 1,000 were multiple claims, covering about 8,000 potential Claimants;
- 3% of early conciliation requests were initiated by the employer;
- 10% of employees reject the offer of early conciliation once they have submitted the early conciliation form with ACAS; and
- similarly, 10% of employers decline to participate in early conciliation when ACAS contacts them.
Preliminary indications show that 18% of early conciliations resulted in a binding settlement between the parties. Of those that did not result in settlement, over two thirds did not progress to a tribunal claim, meaning a small minority of matters brought to ACAS as part of early conciliation go on to become employment tribunal cases.
Employment Partner Kate Frettens says, “These figures support the belief that early conciliation, together with employment tribunal fees, have significantly reduced the amount of tribunal cases. Even business organisations, such as the CBI, have said the government has gone too far with its amendments to the system and that there is now no longer the access to justice as there should be. We expect that changes will be made in the coming months, although the early conciliation process itself may remain unchanged.”
At Frettens, all of our solicitors offer a free initial meeting or chat on the phone to answer your questions. If this article raises issues for you or your business, please call us on 01202 499255 and Kate or Paul will be happy to discuss it with you.