ACAS has published their latest statistics on how Early Conciliation (EC) is working. Since May 2014 anyone wishing to make a claim against the Employment Tribunal is required to notify ACAS with the intention of allowing the parties the opportunity to resolve the dispute without the need for a claim. The EC update provides an early indication of the number of notifications made during the first six months and the number of employees and employers agreeing to EC and the proportion of cases that are settled following EC or that then go on to the Employment Tribunal.

The headlines are:

  • In the period April 2014 – September 2014, ACAS received notification in 37,404 cases, of which 1,156 notifications cover multiple employees covering 8,142 individuals
  • 10% of employees reject the offer of EC
  • 10% of employers decline to participate in EC when contacted by ACAS
  • 18% of ECs result in a COT3 settlement
  • 9,918 cases did not result in a tribunal claim being issued. That is 58% of all notifications received in the period April 2014 – September 2014. This will include cases where the agreement reached in conciliation is implemented without the need for a formal COT3 agreement
  • Of the 4,198 cases which resulted in tribunal claims being issued, 989 were settled by ACAS

Early indications are that unless a case has good prospects of succeeding, employees are unlikely to issue a claim and employers should wait to see if the employee is willing to incur the tribunal fee before issuing a claim.