Acas, the employment relations service, has revealed it has helped businesses avoid more than 2000 employment tribunal claims in just seven months since the introduction of the Pre-Claim Conciliation (PCC) service. Due to its overwhelming success, Acas recently expanded the service to include all major types of workplace issues.
The PCC service aims to save businesses time, money and stress by tackling workplace issues early to prevent costly and stressful employment tribunals. On average employers spent just over three days using the PCC service, compared to nearly 14 days on a claim which escalates to an employment tribunal hearing.
Since the introduction of PCC, Acas has handled 3500 PCC referrals from the Acas helpline and 70 per cent of these were resolved without going to an employment tribunal. In fact, even when the PCC service was not able to settle a workplace dispute, only four in ten referrals progressed into a claim by the end of August.
Ed Sweeney, Acas Chairman, said: “It’s reassuring that Acas’ PCC service has already helped businesses save a great deal of money – particularly in this economic climate.
“Furthermore, the new Code of Practice should also help encourage better communication and relationships, ultimately making businesses and employees happier and more productive.
“Over time, as managers, HR professionals and employees become further accustomed to resolving workplace disputes internally, savings will be even more significant.”
In addition to the expansion of the PCC service, Acas has also expanded its helpline to ensure impartial information on employment relations issues is more readily available to employers and employees.
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. There are also a number of workplace training courses, which aim to help businesses manage conflict in the workplace and update on employment law.
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.