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ACAS publishes Early Conciliation Statistics

Following the introduction of early conciliation (EC) inĀ April 2014, ACAS has published some key statistics from its forthcoming report on the impact of the EC process in its first year.

EC requires would-be claimants to contact ACAS regarding their workplace issue before lodging a claim at Tribunal in almost all cases. The scheme is free and is designed to try to promote settlement between parties and reduce the burden on the Tribunals service.

Between April 2014 and March 2015 83,000 EC cases were handled with 75% of employees and employers willing to engage in the process.

Earlier statistics show that of all EC notifications received between April and December 2014, 63% did not proceed to a Tribunal claim with a further 15% resulting in an ACAS COT3 settlement. Of the 22% that proceeded to issue a claim, more than half subsequently settled.

These statistics seem to suggest that EC is enjoying some success with significantly more disputes being settled that proceeding to Tribunal. Employers should not panic if they receive an EC notification. The statistics show that a claim is by no means inevitable and therefore employers should use the opportunity to clearly set out their defence of the issues with a view to resolving the issue at an early stage and at no cost.

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