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Acas urges earlier use of collective conciliation

Acas urges earlier use of collective conciliation  

Acas has published new research that shows that opportunities to resolve collective disputes by bringing in Acas at an earlier stage are being missed. It also revealed there was some confusion on what conciliation means in practice which may be stopping union officials using Acas’ collective conciliation service.

The research, which is based on responses from 1,024 officials from 63 trade unions, was commissioned by Acas to investigate union official’s experience of dealing with collective disputes and the extent of their use of Acas collective conciliation and reasons for non-use. Key findings from the research include: (i) almost nine-in-ten officials had dealt with some form of industrial dispute over the past decade with 69% bringing Acas in at some point; (ii) 58% wrongly thought conciliation resulted in a solution being chosen for the parties by Acas; and (iii) 49% of respondents indicated that the lack or non-use of Acas was due to the incorrect belief that they could only use Acas if the parties were at an impasse.

Acas said: “A lack of understanding on how we help parties in dispute could be holding some union officials back in using Acas earlier in a dispute before parties have reached a deadlock and positions become entrenched.”

November 2010

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