The new rules requiring ACAS early conciliation prior to taking a case to an Employment Tribunal came into force at the beginning of April. However, the first month was a transitional period and Claimants could choose to go directly to the tribunal if they wished. This transitional period will come to an end on 6 May 2014 and from that date all Claimants will need a certificate from ACAS to confirm that they have tried Early Conciliation before the claim was made.
It is too early to know how the system is working and what the success rates are, it is also too early to know if loading the conciliation at the start of the claim means that there is less chance of settlement at later date. You can read more about ACAS Early Conciliation here.