At a glance
The Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service (Acas) developed a series of early interventions in the employment dispute resolution system. They wanted to know the impact of each intervention, their operations and their overall impact. To assess the impact of the interventions, we are conducting two randomised control trials and two non-randomised impact evaluations, each complemented by a process evaluation.
About the client
The Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service (Acas) provides free and impartial information and advice to employers and employees on all aspects of workplace relations and employment law.
Challenges and objectives
The voluntary Early Conciliation (EC) process has been designed so that Acas can provide an impartial conciliation service with the aim of parties reaching a settlement and avoiding the potentially time consuming, costly and stressful Employment Tribunal process.
Acas developed a series of early interventions in the employment dispute resolution system (‘the Smarter Resolutions’ programme). The programme is comprised of four operational workstreams that focus on improving different parts of the Early Conciliation (EC) process. Acas wanted to know the impact of each workstream, and collectively, and what worked well and less well in their operations.
To articulate each intervention and explore the feasibility of impact evaluations, we undertook a comprehensive scoping stage involving literature review, evidence mapping and scoping interviews with strategic and managerial staff, designers, programmers and other staff involved in designing and delivering the interventions. We collaboratively produced logic models that illustrate the rationale and assumptions for each intervention, the pathway to each outcome and impact, including mechanisms for change. We also developed evaluation frameworks, and trial protocols and evaluation plans, for each intervention. To assess the impact of the interventions, we are conducting two randomised control trials and two non-randomised impact evaluations. Each evaluation is complemented by a process evaluation.
The evaluations are underway and findings will be available in Summer 2023.