How effective is ACAS in mediation for Employment Tribunals?
ACAS in mediation for Employment Tribunals - are settlements being reached more quickly? Tribunal avoidance rate increase as 71% of claims reported to ACAS settle at ‘Early Conciliation’
Since May 2014, it is compulsory for employees considering issuing an Employment Tribunal claim to contact ACAS to undertake Early Conciliation, a form of telephone-based mediation designed to decrease the number of tribunal proceedings being issued. ACAS is an independent organisation which provides free and impartial advice to employers and employees.
Research shows that between April 2015 and March 2016, ACAS dealt with 92,000 early conciliation cases and ACAS reported an increase of 60% requesting Early Conciliation compared to the previous year.
The 71% ‘avoidance rate’ can be broken down thus:
- 31% of cases were settled at the Early Conciliation stage.
- 17% of claimants recognised Early Conciliation to be an important factor in their decision not to issue proceedings.
- 22% of cases were settled at the post-claim stage.
- 1% of claimants did not issue proceedings after the post-claim stage.
The benefit of using the ACAS Early Conciliation process can be demonstrated by over half of claimants (54%) felt that the process enabled them to reach a settlement quicker. 83% of employees and almost 90% of employers considered ACAS was even handed in dealing with the dispute and both reported that they would use ACAS again.
However, for an alternative view on whether or not Early Conciliation works please see our other article “More on Employment Tribunal Fees”.