Government reforms (3): ACAS early conciliation – an update

early conciliation - alarm clock and gavelWhat do we already know?

On 6 April 2014, ACAS launched a free early conciliation (EC) service for employers and employees. EC became mandatory for most types of Tribunal claims on 6 May 2014 (see our previous updates on EC here).

In our May Newsletter Government Reforms (2): ACAS early conciliationwe let you know that to that date (when the scheme was voluntary) around 1,000 individuals per week had contacted ACAS to discuss it – that’s around 4000 individuals.

What’s new?

On 3 September 2014, ACAS published its first set of statistics on EC since the scheme became mandatory.

The statistics cover the quarter from 6 April to 30 June 2014 and during this period 17,145 people used the service. ACAS received around 1,600 notifications a week after the scheme became mandatory. Only 3% of the first contact came from the employer rather than the employee.

Of the approximately 11,000 cases which both began and ended their EC period during the quarter, 16.5% resulted in a successful settlement and a further 19% of employees told ACAS they were not proposing to take the matter further. This is a pretty high proportion of EC cases which are not pursued to Tribunal.   This would seem to be further evidence that the fees regime is having a significant downward impact on the level of claims. For more discussion of this see Government reforms (4): Tribunal Fees below.