Increase in Early Conciliation and Tribunal Claims

  • Joanne Baker-Gabb
  • Thursday, April 5th, 2018

Since July 2013 it has been a precondition of bringing a claim in the Employment Tribunal that a prospective claimant must first follow the ACAS Early Conciliation process and obtain an ACAS Early Conciliation certificate.  This requirement coincided with the introduction of Employment Tribunal fees.

From July 2017 Employment Tribunal fees were abolished following the Supreme Court’s judgement in R v (on the application of UNISON) v Lord Chancellor[2017] UKSC51 that the fees were deemed to be unlawful and hindered access to justice.

Information recently published by ACAS (http://www.acas.org.uk/index.aspx?articleid=6479) shows that the abolition of Employment Tribunal fees has seen the number of Early Conciliation Notifications increase by around 500-600 per week from approximately 1,700 to 2,300.

The Ministry of Justice has also published statistics that show that between October and December 2017 it received 8.173 single claims, which was a 90% increase on the same period in 2016.

These significant increases will no doubt make employers increasingly wary of their actions, but it will also place significant pressure on ACAS and the Employment Tribunal system.  The increases could in turn mean long delays in claims reaching final hearing.  Whether additional resources will be allocated to cope with this increased demand remains to be seen.