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ACAS Early Conciliation and what it means to you.

Published 05 January 2015

The breakdown of any relationship can prove to be a bitter and costly affair.

When the split is between an employer and aggrieved employee it can be extremely acrimonious.

All parties risk being left out of pocket with soaring legal costs running into to thousands of pounds to eventually resolve the matter at an Employment Tribunal.

There can also be many months of stress, worry and uncertainty before the case is even listed for a hearing.

Since its introduction on 6 May, 2014, Acas Early Conciliation has played a significant role in settling many such disputes.

Between 6 April, 2014 and the end of September, 2014, the service dealt with 37,404 cases for both individuals and groups. Around 1,600 people are contacting Acas every week.

There is an equal split in the percentage of employees and employers rejecting the offer of conciliation. Figures show 3,783 (10 per cent) of employees and 3,727 (10 per cent) of employers scorned the offer of conciliation.

The crucial figures to pick from the statistics are: 3,046 cases result in a COT3 settlement; in 9, 918 cases a tribunal claim was not issued; and 4,198 (24 per cent progressed to a tribunal claim.

The take up of Early Conciliation could be down in part to the introduction of tribunal fees, which can hit £1,200 and prove too costly for the low paid.

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