Since May 2014, employees have been required to notify ACAS under the “early conciliation” procedure before bringing an employment tribunal claim.
ACAS has now published statistics for the first year of early conciliation, showing that there have been a total of 83,423 notifications over the first year, with 97% of those being from employees and only 3% from employers. In 10% of cases, the employee only wanted to notify ACAS, and did not want to participate in early conciliation. Similarly, only 10% of employers contacted refused to participate in early conciliation.
For the first nine months of early conciliation, 15% of cases were formally settled through early conciliation and 22% resulted in an employment tribunal claim. Of those employees whose complaints were not formally resolved through early conciliation but who did not subsequently bring an employment tribunal claim, employment tribunal fees was the reason most often given for not bringing an employment tribunal claim, with the second most common reason being that their complaint had been resolved informally by their employer.
The government is currently undertaking a review of the employment tribunal fees system, and in the meantime a decision is awaited from the Court of Appeal on a judicial review challenge to the current fees system.
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