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Acas Conciliation has helped to prevent seven out of ten potential court hearings, according to new research

Acas has published a new independent study that shows how its revitalised conciliation service has managed to reduce the number of employment tribunal hearings conducted in the UK.

The figures are partly a result of changes to the law in 2014, which meant that anyone considering launching an Employment Tribunal claim has to notify Acas first.

It is then Acas’ responsibility to attempt to resolve the dispute, without the need for legal action to be taken, through the use of its own free conciliation service. This option remains open even after a tribunal claim has been lodged.

The independent research showed that approximately seven out of ten (71 per cent) claimants avoided going to court after receiving assistance from Acas and in eight out of ten cases that under-go conciliation users feel satisfied with the process.

Importantly for the future of the service, 92 per cent of employers said they would use the service again, while 87 per cent of claimants would also re-use the same conciliation system.

Acas Chair Sir Brendan Barber said: “Our advice is that it is always better to try and resolve a workplace dispute at the earliest possible stage. But anybody who finds themselves in a position where they are considering legal action should definitely consider our free conciliation service first.

“New independent research shows that seven out of ten potential employment tribunals have been resolved or avoided thanks to our help.

“These encouraging findings, alongside the high levels of satisfaction from both employers and individuals who have used our service, are a testament to the professionalism and expertise of our conciliation staff.”

Link: Acas research