When there’s a disagreement ('dispute') between an employer and a group of employees, we can help both sides to try to come to an agreement and settle the dispute. This is called ‘collective conciliation’.
Collective conciliation is held by a neutral person (a 'conciliator'). The conciliator is impartial. This means they do not take sides. They’re there to help both parties find a solution that everyone agrees to.
How collective conciliation can help
Collective conciliation can be used when both sides cannot reach an agreement in talks between themselves. The conciliator will try to find common ground to help both sides find a way forward.
The benefits of using collective conciliation include:
- it’s free
- it’s voluntary
- it’s confidential
- both sides can agree outcomes
Types of disputes collective conciliation can help to resolve
Collective conciliation is used to resolve disputes about:
- annual pay reviews
- other pay issues
- contract terms and conditions
- changes in working practices
- discipline and dismissal, if an employee representative or a group of people are involved
- redundancy consultation and redundancy selection
- trade union recognition
How collective conciliation works
Collective conciliation is flexible. The conciliator will normally begin by having informal discussions with both sides, either jointly or separately, to understand the issues in the dispute.
They’ll encourage both sides to consider their options for finding a solution. They’ll help by creating a positive environment to have discussions.
If both sides reach an agreement, the conciliator will either help draft an agreement or will write up what’s been discussed and then give it to both parties.
The conciliator’s role is to make sure that everyone understands what has been agreed.
Changes to collective conciliation during the coronavirus outbreak
If you’re using our collective conciliation service, any documents related to your case will need to be submitted online for the time being. This is because of coronavirus (COVID-19) and related safety issues. Your conciliator will get in touch with you about how to submit your documents.
We're also looking at ways for collective conciliation to take place remotely, for example by online meetings or telephone.
We'll update this page as the situation develops. You can contact us if you have any questions.
Request or ask about collective conciliation
Textphone: 18001 0300 123 1122
Monday to Friday, 8am to 6pm