Acas welcomes new process to enforce agreements in Employment Tribunal cases
From this month, employees who settle their employment tribunal claim through Acas can use a new fast-track service to enforce the terms of the agreement, if action is necessary.
In 2009/10 Acas conciliated in over 85,000 (net) employment tribunal cases. helping to resolve nearly three quarters of them, but in around an estimated 5 per cent of case Acas helped settle, action of some sort was necessary to enforce the agreement.
The fast-track enforcement scheme was introduced by the Ministry of Justice for employment tribunal awards in April this year. It has now been extended this month to include Acas brokered settlements.
Keith Mizon, Acas' Director Individual Dispute Resolution welcomed the move. He said:
"We very much welcome the fact that Acas settlements can now be enforced in exactly the same way as Employment Tribunal awards."
From 1 October employees who do not receive a payment agreed in the Acas settlement will be able to contact the Registry Trust to start the process. For further information visit www.justice.gov.uk/civil/procrules_fin/menus/forms.htm.
The fast track system is operated by the Registry Trust, the non profit company which operates the Registry of Judgements, Orders and Fines for the Ministry of Justice.
Notes for editors
- Through the fast track system, High Court enforcement officers will be available to parties seeking to enforce the terms of Acas brokered agreements in Employment Tribunal cases
- From October 1, where settlement terms have not been abided by, parties will be able to download a form from directgov or from the website of Her Majesty's Court Service and send it electronically to Registry Trust. A £50 court fee will be payable but that can be added to the costs. The High Court enforcement officers will waive their normal fee
- Acas' aim is to improve organisations and working life through better employment relations. It provides information, advice, training and a range of services working with employers and employees to prevent or resolve problems and improve performance. It is an independent statutory body governed by a Council consisting of the Acas Chair and employer, trade union and independent members
- Net figures for employment tribunal cases received for conciliation are obtained by adjusting the gross number of claims to take account of multiple cases. For example, if 100 claims against the same employer all arise from the same circumstances, and all the claimants have the same representative, Acas counts this as one net case. Net figures are a better measure of conciliation workload and outcomes than gross figures, which tend to be skewed by a small number of very large multiple claims. See also endnote ii.
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