Acas Early Conciliation Statistics

For Employment Tribunal (ET) claims lodged on or after 6 May 2014, it is a legal requirement, unless an exemption applies, for the claimant to first notify the Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service (Acas) by completing an Early Conciliation notification form. ET claims will not be accepted unless this procedure has been followed and a formal Early Conciliation certificate has been issued. The system was initially introduced on a voluntary basis on 6 April 2014.

Acas has now published statistics showing the number of notifications received during the first six months that the scheme was in operation.

Between 6 April 2014 and 30 September 2014 there were 37,404 notifications in total, 36,162 from employees and 1,242 from employers. Included in the total number of notifications are 1,156 group notifications. The average weekly number of notifications was around 1,600, which is in line with projected figures.

Only 3,783 employees (10 per cent) rejected the offer of conciliation. The employer is only contacted in cases where the employee decides to proceed with Early Conciliation. At this stage, 3,727 (10 per cent) of employers rejected the offer of conciliation.

Figures on the status of cases notified during the first quarter show that 3,046 (18 per cent) have resulted in a formal agreement recorded on Acas form COT3 and 4,198 (24 per cent) have gone on to become ET claims. 9,918 notifications (58 per cent) have not progressed as ET claims. The figures are as yet provisional as there may be a small number of cases that have not yet been presented as ET claims. The figure of 9,918 also includes cases where agreement was reached without the need for a COT3 agreement as well as cases where the employee decided not to pursue the matter. Of the latter, the interesting fact will be why the decision not to proceed was reached. As is its normal practice, Acas will be carrying out a survey of users of the scheme, which may shed some light on this issue. The results of the survey will be published in 2015.

Further information on Early Conciliation is available on the Acas website.

The contents of this article are intended for general information purposes only and shall not be deemed to be, or constitute legal advice. We cannot accept responsibility for any loss as a result of acts or omissions taken in respect of this article.