Acas Reports Increase In Those Seeking To Avoid Employment Tribunal Claims
on: April 10, 2010, 12:08 am
Acas, the employment relations service, has released new
figures that reveal the number of businesses and employees which are
trying to avoid employment tribunal claims continues to rise in recent
Monthly calls to the Acas helpline which, have resulted in being referred to the
early conciliation service - pre-claim conciliation (PCC), have almost doubled since
September. The free service aims to settle workplace issues which could escalate to
an expensive tribunal.
By the end of February 2010, 8,304 PCC referrals had been made from the Acas
helpline since the service was launched to accompany changes to the Employment Act
in April 2009. Acas estimates that over 5,000 employment tribunal claims have been avoided already.
Rising demand for the service has resulted in a steady increase in referrals
culminating in over 2,700 in the last quarter of 2009. The first quarter of 2010 is
on track to exceed this figure by at least 20%. At the moment around 300 referrals
are being received every week on average, and Acas expects this number to rise to
about 400 during 2010.
Commenting on the figures, Ed Sweeney, Acas Chair said: "This data indicates that
workers and employers are increasingly taking steps to avoid employment tribunals.
The current economic climate has created difficult workplace challenges for
managers, HR professionals and employees. The earlier issues can be sorted out, the
more likely people will remain in productive employment in the workplace.
"The service is quick. Over half of all resolved cases are completed in around
three weeks instead of the six to nine months that most tribunal claims take We
have a responsibility to support the economic recovery by resolving workplace
disputes early on and in doing
so, avoiding costly, stressful and time consuming employment tribunals."
The PCC service was launched in April 2009 alongside the new Acas Code of Practice
on Disciplinary and Grievance Procedures following the Government’s Dispute
Resolution Review in 2007.
Acas' aim is to improve organisations and working life through better employment
relations. It provides information, advice, training and a range of services working
with employers and employees to prevent or resolve problems and improve performance.
It is an independent statutory body governed by a Council consisting of the Acas
Chair and employer, trade union and independent members.
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