Companies snub Acas scheme to reduce tribunals

Employer bodies have urged Acas to promote its voluntary arbitration scheme
after disappointing take-up figures were released last week.

The much-heralded scheme is being ignored by employers.

Launched in May, it was intended to provide a popular alternative to going
to an employment tribunal over unfair dismissal disputes.

Acas estimated it would deal with 1,000 cases in its first year, and the CBI
hoped this would increase to 5,000 cases a year.

But it has dealt with just five cases in eight months.

Mike Emmott, employee relations adviser at the CIPD, said, "It is a
disappointingly low figure and the scheme will not take off until awareness
about it is raised.

"Even 1,000 is not a high figure when you think that over 100,000
claims go to tribunal."

He added, "Acas needs to draw attention to the scheme by making both
parties aware of the option and its benefits, such as cost confidentially and

Of the five cases it has dealt with only two have been resolved.

Nicola Fenny, policy adviser at the CBI, said, "We are pleased that the
scheme is in operation, but something seems to be preventing the take up."

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