Conciliation

The process of adjusting or settling disputes in a friendly manner through extra judicial means.

 

Conciliation is the process of adjusting or settling disputes in a friendly manner through extra judicial means. It means bringing two opposing sides together to reach a compromise in an attempt to avoid taking a case to trial.

Arbitration in contrast, is a contractual remedy used to settle disputes out of court. In arbitration the two parties in dispute agree in advance to abide by the decision made by a third party called in as a mediator, whereas conciliation is less structured.

This is similar to mediation but the conciliator takes on a more active role and even suggests possible solutions to the dispute. The conciliator, like a mediator, is also a neutral third party and is there to help the parties resolve the dispute.  In their more active role they will put forward ideas and suggestions for a compromise.  It may be that a settlement is not reached at the end of the conciliation and the commencement of court proceedings remains an option.

In the case of industrial disputes the Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service ACAS may well become involved and put forward their impartial opinions about the legal opinion in an endeavour to encourage a solution.


From 6 April 2014, ACAS have implemented a process of trying to resolve a dispute before it goes to an employment tribunal. This process is free and confidential and is called early conciliation. If a complaint is settled through ACAS, the agreement will be legally binding.

Acas - Conciliation

Citizens Advice - Early conciliation - how it works

 

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