There are lots of issues that can lead to a dispute. It is possible that these can be resolved informally between a line manager and an employee. If issues can be resolved as early as possible in the process this would be the best course of action. Internal policies should be in place to handle more complex issues.
In a small number of cases an issue can escalates and quickly becomes a formal legal claim which can go to the employment tribunal. Reaching a settlement through conciliation can be cheaper, quicker and less stressful for all parties concerned.
Conciliation is offered to both parties with the aim of settling a matter without the need of a hearing. It is voluntary and both parties must agree with this process. It is the role of the conciliator to encourage parties to come to an agreement amongst themselves.
Even if Early Conciliation is not successful you can conciliate right up to the date of the Employment Tribunal hearing. Wherever possible, you will get the same professional, independent and impartial conciliator is involved in the case.
You can have a collective conciliation to resolve problems in the work place this is a specific term which is used for the representative usually trade union to talk in groups there is normally a third party that will chair the meeting.