Inside the minds of parties in dispute

02 June 2016

Since 2014, most workers who intend to bring a tribunal claim must first contact Acas to see if the dispute could be resolved through early conciliation.

Since 2014, most workers who intend to bring a tribunal claim must first contact Acas to see if the dispute could be resolved through early conciliation.

A new research paper (Evaluation of Acas conciliation in Employment Tribunal applications 2016) published by Acas rounds up the effects of this early conciliation. It also gives some interesting insight into the perspectives of those involved in claims.

Most claimants and most employers who took part in the research said that they took up the offer of early conciliation. More than half of those claimants who didn’t said that that was because they thought their employer wouldn’t be willing to negotiate. Others (18%) felt that their employer would not engage. And on the employer side, 26% felt that they had no case to answer. A further 24% were not prepared to negotiate.

When it came to case withdrawals, the main reason was the feeling that they wouldn’t win (no real surprises there). But one-fifth of claimants said they’d withdrawn because tribunal hearing fees were off-putting. It confirms what we’ve always known: that the cost of litigation (particularly since the introduction of fees) is an important piece of the strategic case- planning jigsaw.


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