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Conciliation Update: April 2017 - March 2018

Table 1: Early Conciliation (EC) notifications by track, Apr 2017 - Mar 2018

 

EC Notifications

Q1

Q2

Q3

Q4

Total

Employee Notifications

Fast

8,361

12,628

12,895

16,333

50,217

Standard

5,133

5,877

6,154

6,081

23,245

Open

5,419

5,887

5,779

6,250

23,335

No Track

1,584

1,872

2,239

2,543

8,238

All

20,497

26,264

27,067

31,207

105,035

 

Employer Notifications

Fast

182

93

281

182

738

Standard

727

947

556

590

2,820

Open

115

100

237

291

743

No Track

2

3

4

19

28

All

1,026

1,143

1,078

1,082

4,329

Total

 

21,523

27,407

28,145

32,289

109,364

Between April and July 2017, Acas received around 1,700 notifications per week. Following the Supreme Court ruling on Employment Tribunal fees, this rose to around 2,400 notifications per week between August 2017 and March 2018.

Owing to the extended duration of some disputes, some of the longer-term effects of the Supreme Court decision are still emerging, however since Quarter 1 there has been an increase in net ET1 receipts (+57%) and in Early Conciliation (EC) notifications (+27%) compared with the same period in 2016-17.

Some EC notifications are made on behalf of groups of employees. Over 2,200 group notifications, covering more than 17,800 individuals, are included in the total of 109,364 notifications shown in Table 1. This means that the number of individuals covered by notifications was of the order of 127,000 between April 2017 and March 2018.1

It should be noted that from July to March, just shy of 12,000 connected cases which appear in these tables were submitted in relation to a single dispute concerning Equal Pay and other related jurisdictions.

Note: Acas records indicative jurisdictions against cases received. Many cases involve multiple jurisdictions so 'track' is used to categorise cases by jurisdiction. Open Track cases contain at least one discrimination or disclosure type jurisdiction. Standard Track must contain Unfair Dismissal or a related jurisdiction. The remaining Fast Track cases mostly relate to monetary issues such as unpaid wages. In some cases Acas has not yet identified any relevant jurisdictions which is why a small minority are recorded as 'no track' cases. Cases are confined exclusively to one of the three tracks, because track is determined by the highest jurisdiction in the case.

Table 2: Early Conciliation status, cases cleared Apr 2017 - Mar 2018

 

All conciliation case outcomes current status, Apr 2017 - Mar 20182

Q1

Q2

Q3

Q4

Year to Date

 

No.

%

No.

%

No.

%

No.

%

No.

%

COT3 settlement

4,002

19

4,221

16

4,508

15

4,030

12

16,761

15

Dispute has not progressed to tribunal claim

12,783

60

13,847

53

15,049

52

21,614

66

63,293

58

Dispute progressed to tribunal claim

4,385

21

8,023

31

9,537

33

7,184

22

29,129

27

Total

21,170

26,091

29,094

32,828

109,183

Conciliation remains available up to the day of the case being heard by the Employment Tribunal.  29,129 (27%) of EC cases closed between April 2017 and March 2018 led to an Employment Tribunal claim.  By the end of March, 30% of these cases were settled by Acas conciliators or withdrawn with a further 60% still in progress, as shown in Table 4 which provides a further breakdown of the progress of these cases. Table 3, below, shows the number of ET1 cases received and input by Acas in this period.

Table 3: Employment Tribunal (ET1) cases by track, April 2017 - Mar 2018

 

ET1 Cases Received

Q1

Q2

Q3

Q4

Total

ET1s received following on from EC notification

Fast

862

1,274

2,062

1,942

6,140

Standard

1,675

2,032

2,770

2,546

9,023

Open

1,933

2,342

3,005

2,888

10,168

All

4,470

5,648

7,837

7,376

25,331

 

ET1s received without prior EC notification

Fast

67

30

67

73

237

Standard

13

28

66

70

177

Open

32

58

110

67

267

All

112

116

243

210

681

Total

 

4,582

5,764

8,080

7,586

26,012

These are split into two groups, 'ET1 received following on from EC notification' relate to cases that had not been resolved at the Early Conciliation stage and progressed to tribunal. The second part of the table refers to cases without a clear link to an Early Conciliation notification such as cases in which one of the exemptions applies as set out in Regulation 3(1) of SI 254/2014.

Table 4: Current status of EC cases closed in April 2017 - March 2018 for which an ET1 has been submitted.

 

Current conciliation case status where ET1 submitted, April 2017 - Mar 2018

Q1

Q2

Q3

Q4

Year to Date

 

No.

%

No.

%

No.

%

No.

%

No.

%

Dispute in progress

1,117

25

3,934

49

6,384

67

6,071

85

17,506

60

COT3 Settlements so far achieved

1,990

45

2,372

30

1,971

21

705

10

7,038

24

Withdrawals following Acas intervention

449

10

632

8

507

5

197

3

1,785

6

Determined already by Employment Tribunal

829

19

1,085

14

675

7

211

3

2,800

10

Total ET1 cases

4,385

8,023

9,537

7,184

29,129

The above table represents the outcomes to date of the EC cases in which potential claims cleared in 2017-18 led to tribunal proceedings. The number of corresponding ET1 cases may differ from these figures because some individual EC notifications link to multiple tribunal cases and sometimes several EC notifications will be represented within one tribunal case.

Notes:

  1. It is not possible to be absolutely precise about the number of individuals because some people submit more than one notification, usually either because they need to name more than one respondent or in an attempt to be precise about the respondent's name (legal identity).
  2. Whereas Table 1 and Table 3 set out the total number of cases that were received per quarter, Tables 2 and 4 give the number of cases which reached an EC-stage outcome in that period - drawing in many cases which were received in previous quarters and excluding cases which have not yet reached an EC-stage outcome. So, although there will be considerable overlap in terms of the cases involved, the total number of cases differs.