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Acas collective conciliation helps reach a successful outcome in over 7 out of 10 cases

Thursday 11 August 2016

Acas Chief Conciliator hopes Rio 2016 remains dispute-free after Acas advice to Brazilian Government

Independent research has found Acas intervention in industrial disputes between groups of employees and their employer has helped reach a settlement in over seven out of ten cases.

The survey found that:

  • over 90% of agreements through Acas conciliation were fully implemented in the workplace
  • seven out of ten people were satisfied with the outcome of their case after conciliation
  • the skills of conciliators acting as an impartial third party was a key influence over the likelihood of reaching an agreement to settle the dispute
  • two-thirds of organisations that used conciliation were from the private sector (65 per cent) with 26 per cent in the public sector and 9 per cent in the voluntary sector.

David Prince, Acas Chief Conciliator, said:

"These findings demonstrate how our experienced network of conciliators continue to play a vital role in resolving industrial disputes quickly to help Britain's workplaces stay productive.

"We believe that early intervention and good workplace practice can help prevent disputes from happening in the first place.

"In the run up to the 2012 London Olympics, we worked very hard with trade unions, construction companies, the Olympic Delivery Authority and the London Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games to develop a set of protocols and principles to help ensure a dispute-free London Olympics.

"The Brazilian government approached us for advice and expertise on any lessons learned from our experience of London 2012 and we were very happy to help and hope that Rio 2016 remains dispute-free too."

The new research 'Acas collective conciliation evaluation 2016' can be downloaded at Research papers.

Notes to editors

  1. Industrial disputes are defined here as a dispute that involves a union or other employee representatives and employers.
  2. 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.
  3. More information about Acas collective conciliation can be found at Collective disputes.
  4. The independent research was carried out by Ipsos MORI and is based on a survey of 342 customers of the collective conciliation service between October 2014 and December 2015. The research found that users of the service were primarily from larger organisations with 250 or more employees. Almost half of disputes involved issues around pay (43 per cent) while 17 per cent related to other terms of employment including pensions and leave.
  5. For media enquiries or for interview requests for David Prince, please contact Lou Owen, Communications Manager, on 020 7210 3920 or For out of hours media enquiries please call the out of hours duty press officer on 020 7210 3600.