ACAS has published the first quarterly statistics on its new early conciliation service. These show that:
- The total number of requests for early conciliation from 6 April 2014 until the end of June was 17,145.
- During April (when the scheme was voluntary), about 1,000 people contacted ACAS each week.
- During May and June (when it has been mandatory), about 1,600 people contacted ACAS each week.
- ACAS have indicated that these figures are in line with what they expected.
- Out of the total number of early conciliation notifications, 3% have come from the employer rather than the employee.
Once notification is made to ACAS, the parties are asked whether they want to take up the offer of conciliation. Only 7% of employees and 9% of employers rejected the offer of conciliation completely.
If both parties are willing to conciliate, ACAS will offer early conciliation for up to one month to try and resolve the dispute. Of the approximately 11,000 cases which both began and ended their early conciliation period during the quarter, 16.5% resulted in a successful COT3 settlement. A further 19% of employees told ACAS they were not proposing to take the matter further.
It is too early to know the full impact of early conciliation as no figures are available yet on the proportion of employees using early conciliation who then go on to lodge a tribunal claim.
On September 4, 2014