ACAS Data Suggests That Valid Employment Disputes Are Not Being Pursued

Latest Figures Highlight Impact Of Tribunal Fees

20.11.2014

David Shirt, Press Officer | 0161 838 3094

The latest data from ACAS has provided the clearest evidence so far that the introduction of Employment Tribunal fees has led to a reduction in individuals pursuing valid claims with their employer - says national law firm Irwin Mitchell.

Since the introduction of Early Conciliation earlier this year, ACAS has received 37,404 notifications from individuals and employers.

The status of cases notified between April and June 2014 shows that 58% of claims did not progress to a Tribunal Claim. Almost a quarter did whilst 18% resulted in a binding settlement known as a COT3.

The early conciliation scheme has made it compulsory for employees wishing to lodge a tribunal claim to first notify ACAS. At this point both parties will be given the option of resolving the dispute through an ACAS conciliator.

If either side does not wish to conciliate, ACAS will issue a conciliation certificate. The certificate will also be issued if no agreement can be reached after a month. Without this certificate, a claim will not be accepted by a tribunal.

Expert Opinion
On the one hand this latest update from ACAS highlights that the process can work because a large number of settlements are being reached before matters go before a tribunal.

“For the first time however it is possible to track the disputes that went to ACAS in the first three months since the scheme was launched and see which ones were pursued. Although many of these cases would have been speculative and without real merit, there will be arguments from the trade unions, including Unison, that this high number indicates that the introduction of tribunal fees has severely hampered the ability for some individuals to bring valid claims. This is an important point for both employees and employers as it is likely to lead to demands to reform the system.”
Glenn Hayes, Partner