Following the launch of Early Conciliation (EC) on 6 April 2014, around 1,000 people a week have contacted the Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service (Acas) with a view to using EC to settle a workplace dispute and 98 per cent of those have decided to try the service.
Even though there is an initial one month period for settling a claim, the first case was settled within 24 hours. In addition, 100 employers have contacted Acas to try EC.
EC follows on from Pre Claim Conciliation (PCC), a similar optional service that Acas used to offer. PCC dealt with around 20,000 cases a year and over three-quarters of these were resolved in a way that did not lead to an Employment Tribunal (ET) claim.
For the first month after the launch of EC, notifying Acas of a potential claim was optional. For ET claims lodged on or after 6 May 2014, it is a legal requirement, unless an exemption applies, for the claimant to first notify Acas by completing an ET notification form. ET claims will not be accepted unless this procedure has been followed and a formal EC Certificate has been issued.
For more information, see the Acas website.