Early Conciliation – one year on

9 July 2015 Acas has published statistics showing the impact of the first year of Early Conciliaiton.

9 Jul 2015| News

9 July 2015

Acas has published statistics showing the impact of the first year of Early Conciliaiton.

The figures show that Acas processed over 83,000 cases between April 2014 and March 2015. Three in four employers and employees agreed to use early conciliation.

Between April 2014 and December 2014 63 did not proceed to a tribunal claim, 15 percent resulted in a formal COT3 settlement, and 22 percent progressed to a formal tribunal claim. Out of the 22 percent of cases where a claim was issued, 51 percent were subsequently settled with a COT3.

Tribunal fees were introduced in July 2013. Claimants must now pay an issue fee of between £160 and £250 when submitting a claim and a hearing fee of £250 to £950 when the claim is listed for a hearing. The number of claims going to tribunal has drastically fallen since fees were introduced.

Frances O’Grady responded; “This research confirms that people are having as many problems at work as ever. Resolving those issues as soon as possible is important. It is encouraging that the vast majority of employers and staff are participating in early conciliation, and that Acas is settling so many cases so quickly.”

“However the research suggests that fees are a major deterrent for individuals taking their claims to employment tribunals, with around at least one in four claimants whose cases are not settled by early conciliation being put off from further action by the costs. Many employees – particularly the low paid – cannot afford justice, which could explain this apparent keenness to settle a dispute at early conciliation without going to tribunal.

“Employment tribunal fees have been a huge victory for Britain’s worst bosses. By charging up-front fees for harassment and abuse claims the government has made it easier for bad employers to get away with the most appalling behaviour. The Ministry of Justice must prioritise its review into the impact of tribunal fees and take swift action to abolish them.”

Read our Access to Justice page for more information.