Early Conciliation is helping to resolve employment disputes

The conciliation service offered by Acas seems to be taking the heat out of many workplace disputes, with 71 per cent of claimants recently surveyed saying it had helped them avoid going to a tribunal.

But an evaluation of the service by public affairs research agency TNS BMRB also suggests that some employers are not making best use of conciliation. The most frequently mentioned reason for failing to reach a settlement was the employer’s unwillingness to negotiate, reported by 76 per cent of claimants. By contrast, just 10 per cent reported the level of the employer’s offer as the sticking point. A surprising 31 per cent of employers reported their own unwillingness to negotiate as the reason for being unable to reach a settlement.

Given the large number of disputes being referred to Acas – 92,000 between April 2015 and March 2016 alone – and the fact that early conciliation (EC) is now mandatory, it is important that…

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