ACAS Employment Tribunal Research Paper Findings

By Amanda Beattie
31 May 2016

In this article, Croner Litigation Expert, Amanda Beattie looks at the key features of the recently published "Evaluation of ACAS Conciliation in Employment Tribunal Applications 2016". ACAS have recently published their latest research paper (“the Paper”) providing the fruits of their research in relation to the impact of conciliation in relation to Employment Tribunal (“ET”) claims.

It is an extensive paper, which also seems to angle on the service delivery of ACAS; however it does include a number of interesting statistics in relation to the common characteristics of parties to employment disputes. The Paper derives its content predominately from an evaluation of a previous research paper of “Evaluation of ACAS Early Conciliation 2015” by M Downer et al and a survey of post ET1 conciliation, which was based on a telephone survey of over a thousand Claimants, Employers and Representatives, whose Early Conciliation closed between 29 September 2014 – 31 October 2015. There are wide ranging statistics included in the Paper, however, the key features you should know about are:


Main characteristics Of those surveyed:

  1. over 55% of Claimant’s were male, over 35 years old;
  2. 79% worked full-time;
  3. Were less likely to come from professional occupations, with the highest percentage of occupation being “Associate Professional & Technical operating” making up 20% of the total, followed by “Elementary occupations”, which ,made up 15%;
  4. 38% had an income over £30,000 per annum;
  5. 28% had a long-term illness or disability (which is above the national workforce average of 21%)
  6. 86% had not made a claim to an Employment Tribunal previously;
  7. 78% used the services of a form of representative post ET1, compared to 24% used representatives at the Early Conciliation stage;
  8. 62% of the Claimants representatives were Solicitors, Barristers or other lawyer and 14% was a family member or friend.

Fees and Withdrawing an Employment Tribunal claim In relation to Employment Tribunal fees, of those Claimant’s surveyed:

  1. 35% applied for a fee remission;
  2. Out of those 35%, 80% were successful in securing a fee remission;
  3. Out of those Claimants who did not apply for a fee remission, 79% paid the Tribunal fee themselves

In relation to those Claimants who withdrew their claim;

  1. 25% did not consider that they would win their claim;
  2. 20% was because of the Employment Tribunal hearing fee.


Main characteristics Of those surveyed:

  1. 83% of employers were from the private sector;
  2. 37% of employers were a large organisation with over 250+ employees;
  3. 67% had their own internal HR;
  4. 36% had their own internal legal department;
  5. Employers who were at the post ET1 stage were more likely to come from a large organisation in the private sector;
  6. The largest industries were Human Health and Social Work (13%) and Wholesale and Retail Trade (13%);

Respondent Representatives:

  1. 84% used representatives at the post ET1 stage, with only 29% using representatives at the Early Conciliation stage;
  2. 89% of the Respondent’s representatives were solicitors, barristers or other form of lawyer;
  3. 82% of Respondent representatives had more than five years’ experience in Employment Tribunals, with 74% usually dealing with Respondent cases only.

Settlement of Employment Tribunal claims From all the research data, in showed that;

  1. 71% of both Early Conciliation and Post ET1 claims did not go to hearing;
  2. Of those Early Conciliation and Post ET1 claims, 52% were settled by COT3
  3. 8% were settled by private settlement;
  4. 86% was settled for money;
  5. 24% was settled for a reference.
  6. Of those claims that did not settle, 76% of Claimants said that the claim did not settle because the Respondent would not negotiate.

Employment Tribunal Hearings From all the research data, in showed that;

  1. 22% of Early Conciliation and Post ET1 stage claims reached the hearing;
  2. Of those surveyed, 51% the Tribunal awarded in the Claimant’s favour, 48% in the Respondent’s favour and 1% the case was dismissed;
  3. Out of those claims that reached hearing which were successful, 92% were awarded money;
  4. The mean award was £8,158, with the median award being £5,117.

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About the Author

Amanda Beattie

Amanda represents corporate clients and large public bodies, including complex discrimination and whistleblowing claims. Amanda also drafts and delivers bespoke training regarding all aspects of employment law, including ‘mock tribunal’ events; in addition she also frequently drafts employment law articles for various publications for Croner and their clients.

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