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All potential tribunal cases should have conciliation with Acas, state new proposals

Acas has responded to a Government proposal that all potential employment tribunal claims are to be offered early conciliation with Acas first.

In its submission to the Government's consultation document Resolving workplace disputes, The Acas Council said the plans would enable the expansion of its Pre-Claim Conciliation (PCC) service. More than three quarters of disputes that are appropriately referred for PCC do not go on to become tribunal claims but the scope of the service is currently limited by the fact the Acas Helpline is the main source of referrals.

Although this provides substantial coverage, the proposals the consultation puts forward would enable Acas to reach all potential claimants.

Acas chairman Ed Sweeney (pictured) said: "Acas Pre-Claim Conciliation is an effective way of resolving disputes before they reach an employment tribunal and offers substantial savings for employers, employees, and the taxpayer. It is quicker, cheaper, and less stressful, and if we can offer early conciliation in more cases we can multiply the benefits of this very successful service."

Whilst the Government proposes to offer early conciliation for individual disputes they have asked to be convinced that it will be equally effective for multiple claims.

Sweeney added: "Excluding multiple claims from early conciliation would be a false economy. They are potentially the most costly of all cases for the parties and the taxpayer if they go the distance whilst even registering the claims involved can place a high administrative burden on the Tribunals. "There is no evidence that PCC is less effective for multiple claimant cases - in fact it has actively resolved 69 per cent of them since it started in April 2009".