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New study reveals that over nine out of ten employers pay Acas mediated settlements to claimants

Friday 06 February 2015

A new study published today has revealed that over nine out of ten (93 per cent) people have received compensation payments through Acas mediated settlements without the need for enforcement.

This compares to only 53 per cent who had received pay awards granted to them by Employment Tribunals without resorting to enforcement.

Acas conciliation is a free voluntary service that tries to resolve workplace disputes between employers and their workers before they reach the more serious stage of an employment tribunal.

An Acas conciliator can broker a formal settlement through a legally binding agreement. The research 'Payment of Acas conciliated settlements' followed up individual cases that had been resolved by Acas between January and the end of March 2014.

Acas Chair Sir Brendan Barber said:

"This new research reveals that most employers pay out compensation when it has been agreed through an Acas settlement.

"It shows the crucial value of Acas' impartial conciliation services in securing agreed settlements to disputes.  But the low compliance rate with tribunal awards remains a major concern.
"Our new free Early Conciliation service continues to help people resolve their disputes. We are dealing with around 1600 cases a week and dealt with nearly 40,000 cases in the first six months of operation."

The research looked at Acas settlements in disputes that had the potential to be tribunal cases (Pre-Claim Conciliation) and cases where Acas provides conciliation to individuals after an Employment Tribunal claim has been lodged (Individual Conciliation) before the introduction of Early Conciliation in April 2014.

The study also looked at the types of workplaces, compensation amounts for pay awards and the topics of the disputes that Acas had settled. It found that:

  • Most settled disputes related to unfair dismissal (61 per cent) followed by wages claims (13 per cent);
  • The average compensation payout was £3000; and
  • The vast majority of settled disputes were from the private sector (80 per cent) with 14 per cent from the public sector and five per cent in the charity or not for profit sector.

To the see the full report, please visit:

Notes to editors

  1. Acas commissioned IFF research to undertake a study of 1500 claimants who had settled with a COT3 agreement in both Pre Claim Conciliation (PCC) cases and Individual Conciliation (IC) cases to measure the levels of payment and enforcement. The study looked at PCC and IC cases closed between the beginning of January and end of March 2014, before Early Conciliation was introduced.
  2. The mean average value of monetary settlements was £6,600 but this was distorted by a handful of high value claims within the sample size. A more representative average figure is the median at £3000.
  3. IFF research conducted a study on behalf of the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills in 2013 called 'Payment of Tribunal Awards': it found that only 53 per cent of claimants had received full or part payment of their award without having to resort to enforcement and 35 per cent had not received any money at all.
  4. Early Conciliation was launched on 6 April 2014. From 6 May 2014 anyone thinking of making an Employment Tribunal claim must contact Acas first. Acas then helps those involved to try to resolve the dispute quickly without the need for legal action through its new free service called Early Conciliation. For more information on Early Conciliation, see:
  5. Acas stands for Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service. We aim to improve organisations and working life through better employment relations. We help with employment relations by supplying up-to-date information, independent advice and high quality training, and working with employers and employees to solve problems and improve performance. Acas is an independent and impartial statutory body governed by a Council made up of members from business, trade unions, academia and the law. For more information, see About us.
  6. For media enquiries please contact Shumon Rahman, Senior Media and PR Manager on 0207 210 3688 / For out of hours media enquiries please call the out of hours duty press officer on 020 7210 3600.