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Acas comments on Government consultation, Resolving workplace disputes

Thursday 27 January 2011

Acas Chief Executive John Taylor said:

"We welcome the emphasis that the consultation places on earlier resolution of employment and workplace disputes. We know from our own work that prevention is better than cure but where disputes do arise early intervention can stop the situation from turning ugly and resolve things more quickly.

"A call to the Acas helpline can often be enough to nip a problem in the bud. An independent study found that an estimated 16,000 employment tribunal cases were avoided last year following calls to the helpline.

"The proposed expansion of our Pre Claim Conciliation service - which saves the time, cost and stress of dealing with a claim to an employment tribunal for employers and employees - is further proof of its success. Research shows that when staff time and legal costs are factored in businesses are saving £5,200 on average, compared to resolving a dispute once an employment tribunal claim has been made. It also allows the parties to agree the terms of any settlement rather than have a solution imposed upon them.

"The Acas Council will carefully consider the Government's proposals and we will respond in due course."

Notes for Editors

  1. The saving of £5,200 includes the average cost of legal advice and representation together with staff and senior management time across all stages of the process. These estimates focus on the relative costs of the two processes; settlements and tribunal awards are not included in the calculations.