Early Conciliation: A Success?

Early Conciliation was introduced on 6 April 2014 to provide an opportunity to resolve workplace disputes without the need to make a claim to an Employment Tribunal.

Acas has recently published statistics on the outcomes of Early Conciliation for the first quarter (April–June 2014).

The below table shows that notifications were received at a rate of approximately 1,000 per week during April. This rose to around 1,600 when notification became mandatory in May.

EC Notifications

April

May

June

Total

Employee Notifications

3,706

6,319

6,580

16,605

Employer Notifications

127

225

188

540

Total

3,833

6,544

6,765

17,145

The table below shows that relatively few of those involved rejected the offer of Early Conciliation completely, but that a small proportion of both employees and employers do so. In most cases Acas have found that parties are willing to talk about the issues and this creates a better understanding of the dispute which assists in resolving the matter during Early Conciliation or later in the process.

EC Take Up

Number

Percentage

Offer of conciliation rejected by employee

1,122

7%

Offer of conciliation rejected by employer

1,483

9%

At the end of the first quarter, 1,873 cases settled with a COT3. This is 16,5% of the total 11,355 cases that ended their Early Conciliation period in the quarter.

Early Conciliation is one of several significant measures introduced by the government in the last year, which together are revolutionising the field of employment dispute resolution. We consider it is too early to say whether Early Conciliation is a success or not. We suspect that the statistics released following the next quarter will better reflect whether Early Conciliation is achieving the outcomes the government hoped it would.

If you require any advice on Early Conciliation generally, please contact a member of the Employment Team.

Our Employment Team provide a fixed fee service for Early Conciliation. For further details please contact Ronnie Tong on 020 7880 4335 or Katie Maguire on 020 7880 4337.

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