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New research shows Acas Conciliation has helped to prevent 7 out of 10 potential court hearings

Monday 23 May 2016

Workplace expert Acas has published a new independent study on how its conciliation service has reduced the need for employment tribunal hearings.

The law changed in 2014 and now anyone thinking of making an Employment Tribunal claim has to notify Acas first. Acas then tries to resolve the dispute quickly without the need for legal action through its free conciliation service.

Acas conciliation is still available after a tribunal claim has been lodged until the court date. The new independent research published today shows that:

  • seven out of ten (71%) claimants avoided going to court after receiving help from Acas
  • Acas' post-claim conciliation has also been highly successful with eight out of ten users being satisfied with the service
  • over nine out of ten employers (92%) and a similar percentage of claimants (87%) said that they would use Acas conciliation again.

Acas Chair Sir Brendan Barber said:

"Our advice is that it is always better to try and resolve a workplace dispute at the earliest possible stage. But anybody who finds themselves in a position where they are considering legal action should definitely consider our free conciliation service first.

"New independent research published today shows that seven out of ten potential employment tribunals have been resolved or avoided thanks to our help.

"These encouraging findings, alongside the high levels of satisfaction from both employers and individuals who have used our service, are a testament to the professionalism and expertise of our conciliation staff."

Other findings from the research include:

  • over half of claimants (54%) said that taking part in EC made it quicker to resolve their employment tribunal claim
  • over three quarters of claimants (77%) and more than eight out of ten (86%) of employers were happy with amount of contact they had with Acas
  • eight out of ten claimants (83%) and nearly nine out of ten employers (89%) thought Acas was even-handed
  • among claimants and their representatives who withdrew their cases, a fifth (20 per cent) felt that the tribunal fees were off putting and 17 per cent felt it was too stressful to continue
  • over six out of ten (63%) claimants who took part in Early Conciliation (EC) felt better prepared for the subsequent employment tribunal claim process.

Acas has also published new figures on its conciliation service which summarise performance for its second full year of EC. This new update shows that:

  • Acas has dealt with over 92,000 EC cases between April 2015 and March 2016. This is nearly 1000 more cases compared to the same period last year
  • Acas has been approached directly by employers requesting conciliation in over 4,000 cases - an increase of nearly 60% on the previous year.

Notes to editors

  1. The full research report pdf icon Evaluation of Acas conciliation in Employment Tribunal applications 2016 [2Mb] is available to download.
  2. The latest Conciliation Update: April 2015 - March 2016 is available.
  3. Acas stands for Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service. Acas provides free and impartial information and advice to employers and employees on all aspects of workplace relations and employment law. We support good relationships between employers and employees which underpin business success. We also provide good value, high quality training and tailored advice to employers. Our expertise is based on millions of contacts with employers and employees each year. Acas is an independent and impartial statutory body governed by a Council made up of members from business, trade unions, academia and the law.
  4. For media enquiries contact Shumon Ali-Rahman on 0207 210 3688 or salirahman@acas.org.uk For out of hours media enquiries please call the out of hours duty press officer on 020 7210 3600.