Acas welcomes Enterprise Bill and expanded role for Acas
Ed Sweeney, Acas Chair said:
"We welcome Government plans that all potential employment tribunal claims will be offered early conciliation with Acas.
"Today's announcement will mean changes to the work of our experienced team of conciliators, systems and processes. We are already working closely with BIS to plan the new service and using our extensive experience in delivering conciliation services to ensure early conciliation is delivered effectively.
"This is the beginning of the legal process to enable all potential claims to a tribunal to come to Acas first to try and settle the disagreement before a claim is lodged at a tribunal. If conciliation didn't resolve the matter an employee can still make a claim to a tribunal.
"Problems at work can be a barrier to growing a business. At Acas we know that early intervention in workplace disputes avoids the stress, time and cost for all parties in employment tribunals. Early conciliation will enable workers and employers to resolve their own problems fairly and without having to face the prospect of an employment tribunal.
"Today's announcement starts to underpin in legislation a new service, which we expect will begin in April 2014, that builds on our existing pre claim conciliation service. This service has been independently tested and shows that businesses save on average £3,700 compared to resolving a dispute once an employment tribunal claim has been made. And employees save on average nearly £3,000 when resolving a PCC case compared with dealing with an employment tribunal claim.
"We're seeing demand for this service continue to rise and have dealt with over 23,000 pre claim conciliation cases during 2011/12. The pre claim conciliation service is currently successful in over 75% of cases - meaning that less than a quarter of cases which go through pre claim conciliation go on to be lodged with an employment tribunal.
"We look forward to working with BIS over the coming months to begin implementing the new service as well as consulting on our plans with stakeholders who represent the wider interests of the workplace."
Notes for editors
- 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.
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