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Blog  »  September 2014  »  ACAS early conciliation scheme - is it a success? - Blog
Sep 14

Posted by
Laura Murphy

ACAS early conciliation scheme - is it a success?

Since 6th May 2014 any employee who lodges an employment claim must have made an Early Conciliation notification to ACAS. On receipt, ACAS begin a process of trying to resolve the dispute, and must issue an Early Conciliation certificate before the claim can progress to an employment tribunal.

Although employees must notify ACAS of their intention to bring a claim to an employment tribunal, actual participation in any early conciliation efforts is voluntarily. Equally, if ACAS contacts the Company regarding early conciliation their participation is also optional.

Results to Date

Over the first two months that the service was operations ACAS received between 6,500 and 7,000 notifications per month.

Interestingly 10% of notifications brought to ACAS were from employers rather than employees. This is a canning move by employers seeking to pre-empt possible tribunal claims from employees. By raising a notification to ACAS, employers are hoping to save money on legal and tribunal fees by resolving the issue with the employee early.

The success of the scheme is still very much in the balance. ACAS have, very positively, quoted that only 7% of employees and 9% of employers did not want to participate in early conciliation, however on further inspection only a very small percentage of notifications have been successfully resolved during the Early Conciliation Process. Some of the reasons given for failed processes included: the ACAS conciliator was ineffective and that the process was poor.

Time will tell whether or not this scheme is a success, what does seem apparent is that the scheme is very much at an early teething stage.

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Posted in Company Handbook, Contract of employment


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