Acas publishes quarterly statistics on early conciliation and employment tribunal cases.
When an employee wants to make a claim against their employer at an employment tribunal, usually they must notify Acas first. Acas offers early conciliation to try to reach an agreement between the employee and employer, and avoid the employee making a claim to an employment tribunal.
Acas previously published quarterly statistics on early conciliation notifications but stopped due to a change of case management system (CMS). Now that the new system and data reporting is fully embedded, we will publish the statistics again every quarter from June 2021.
These data are produced from management information (MI) of numbers of early conciliation notifications registered with Acas. We have chosen not to publish them as official statistics, but rather to voluntarily apply the UK Statistics Authority Code of Practice for Statistics to them. These data are consistent with MI used internally but, as yet, we do not feel that they fully meet the requirements for official statistics. By applying the voluntary code of practice, we are working towards meeting the full criteria.
Applying the Code of Practice for Statistics helps to build public confidence in the statistics. This statement of compliance demonstrates how Acas is working towards the 3 pillars of the code:
- trustworthiness – having confidence in the people and organisations that produce statistics and data
- quality – data and methods that produce assured statistics
- value – publishing statistics that support society’s needs for information
These statistics have been produced under the guidance of the principal statistician at Acas, after initial discussions with the deputy head of profession at BEIS, Acas’s parent organisation, about the voluntary application of the code.
They are collected and quality assured by analysts across the 2 analytical teams of Acas, including analysts who are part of the government analytical professions.
We'll work towards releasing a publication calendar and publishing these statistics in line with pre-announced dates set out on the Acas website and in a timely manner, with a small lag at the end of each quarter for finalisation and quality assurance (QA) before the statistics are published.
These MI data are used internally for decision making. However, the data cut taken to produce these statistics and the aggregated statistics presented each quarter will not be shared with anyone outside of those involved in the production of the statistics. The exception to this is that the statistics will be signed-off by the head of Acas's individual dispute resolution service as a final QA for the work. The production of the statistics will be overseen by analysts at Acas to ensure the statistics remain impartial, with the responsible statistician having final sign-off prior to publication.
Data have been gathered from a MI data source and quality assured by analysts in Acas to help minimise errors from issues such as double counting or mis-categorisation of cases. Full details of the QA process are set out in the background quality report. We are also looking to create an enhanced, more formalised QA process, details of which will be provided in an updated background quality report later in 2021.
The data presented are a true reflection of the management data held by Acas and these tables and charts have been produced in accordance with good analytical practice, following the Office for National Statistics (ONS) presenting data style guide. Production of the statistics and some of the nuances of the data, such as handling of multiple cases where several claimants raise the same case against an employer, have been discussed in the supporting methodology article and background quality report to increase transparency in our methods.
We’re working towards using a 'reproducible analytical pipeline' (automated statistical and analytical processes) to produce these tables and reports which will help us to comply more fully with the Code of Practice for Statistics.
An internal working group has been set up to discuss the publication of these statistics and further development of these and others in the organisation to ensure the quality remains as high as possible and that we are working more fully towards the code of practice.
The statistics aim to provide as much value as possible by being published to cover the main freedom of information (FOI) requests that are made to Acas, pre-emptively publishing data that is likely to be requested to make an efficiency saving for Acas and meeting the requirements of our users. This reduces burden on both the users and producers of the statistics by having 1 set of data that meets the needs of many users.
We've produced the statistics in a table format with breakdown by case category (or ‘track’), along with some visualisations of the data, to provide as much information and make them as usable as possible, along with linked open data spreadsheets. We're working to add more accessible visualisations and further breakdowns of the data in future.
We've produced an explanation of the statistics with the tables and charts and we're working towards increasing the accessibility of the visualisations to ensure they are as usable as possible. A glossary of terms is also included.
We're setting up an external working group to discuss these and other statistics that Acas produces to ensure they remain as helpful as possible and we are meeting the needs of our users. The figures and analysis presented will evolve over time to ensure they include the most relevant information and meet the needs of stakeholders. The working group will use feedback from our users and developments in analytical guidance to ensure they remain up to date.
We're the only organisation that is able to produce these statistics because early conciliation notifications are solely registered with Acas and we believe it is right to share these publicly.
If you have questions about using Acas data, you can contact our analysts by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.