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Dispute Resolution and Policy: Past, Present and Future

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Presentation on theme: "Dispute Resolution and Policy: Past, Present and Future"— Presentation transcript:

1 Dispute Resolution and Policy: Past, Present and Future
ESRC Seminar Series October 2012 Gill Dix Head of Strategy, ACAS

2 Questions Have Government reviews focused on the right questions?
Have they generated the right solutions? Has the (explicit or implicit) focus on Tribunal volumes been appropriate?


4 Employment Tribunal Volumes 1978 to 2011

5 2001 Routes to Resolution Objectives Access to justice
Fair and efficient tribunals User friendly service ‘too many disputes were referred to ETs – more efforts were needed to resolve problems inside the workplace’. Inside the Workplace Statutory minimum D & G procedures Outside the Workplace Fixed period conciliation Reduced ET qualifying period for Unfair Dismissal claims

6 2007 Gibbons Review of Dispute Resolution in Britain: - ‘the DRR’
Objectives Review the 2004 Regs to identify options to simplify and improve aspects of employment dispute resolution and make the system work more effectively for employers and employees, while preserving employment rights’ Inside the Workplace Repeal statutory minimum D & G procedures Outside the Workplace Repeal fixed period conciliation

7 Gibbons - more A revised Acas Code
More emphasis on mediation and early conciliation “Fundamentally, what is needed is a culture change, so that the parties to employment disputes think in terms of finding ways to achieve an early outcome that works for them, rather than in terms of fighting their case at a tribunal.”

8 Pre Claim Conciliation : Objectives
Produce earlier and speedier resolution of disputes – aiming to preserve more employment relationships Reduce the admin burden caused by ETs - save time and money for employers and employees; and reduce the costs to the state Volumes 9000 in 2009 16,000 in 2011

9 PCC Users (comparator = Employment Tribunal population)
Greater use by smaller, private sector workplaces without an internal HR department Less use trade union members discrimination claims monetary claims representation Similar proportion of unfair dismissal disputes


11 2011 Resolving Workplace Disputes (‘RWD’)
Context Growth agenda Removing barriers to recruitment Promote maximum flexibility without compromising fairness …and objectives Encourage early dispute resolution Preserving the working relationship Enable parties to bring matters to a quick and least painful closure where relationships had broken down.

12 Resolving Workplace Disputes
Measures Inside the Workplace More emphasis on mediation Outside the Workplace Increase the UD qualifying period Introduce charging for Employment Tribunals Early Conciliation

13 What more can be done? Ensure that conflict is embedded on the modern workplace agenda Monitor ET claim rates, volumes but also characteristics and composition of claims Be ambitious in workplace policies – include dispute resolution strategies in each Continue to invest in ADR schemes and policies Ensure robust evaluations of programmes or ‘packages’ of reforms, not just individual policy changes Consider opportunities for ‘cultural’ changes; seek alternative forms of dispute resolution Use the seminar series to reinforce the conflict management agenda

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