Nearly half of people who have successfully taken their employer to an Employment Tribunal have been paid their award without the need for enforcement, according to an Acas study.
Acas says only 53% of people who have been granted pay awards by Employment Tribunals have received payments without resorting to enforcement. This compares with 93% of people who have gone through Acas-mediated settlements.
Acas conciliation is a free voluntary service that tries to resolve workplace disputes between employers and their workers before they reach the more serious stage of an employment tribunal.
An Acas conciliator can broker a formal settlement through a legally binding agreement.
Acas Chair Sir Brendan Barber said: “This new research reveals that most employers pay out compensation when it has been agreed through an Acas settlement.
“It shows the crucial value of Acas’ impartial conciliation services in securing agreed settlements to disputes. But the low compliance rate with tribunal awards remains a major concern.
“Our new free Early Conciliation service continues to help people resolve their disputes. We are dealing with around 1,600 cases a week and dealt with nearly 40,000 cases in the first six months of operation.”
The research looked at Acas settlements in disputes that had the potential to be tribunal cases (Pre-Claim Conciliation) and cases where Acas provides conciliation to individuals after an Employment Tribunal claim has been lodged (Individual Conciliation) before the introduction of Early Conciliation in April 2014.
The study also looked at the types of workplaces, compensation amounts for pay awards and the topics of the disputes that Acas had settled. It found that:
– Most settled disputes related to unfair dismissal (61 per cent) followed by wages claims (13 per cent);
– The average compensation payout was £3,000; and
– The vast majority of settled disputes were from the private sector (80 per cent) with 14 per cent from the public sector and five per cent in the charity or not for profit sector.