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Demand for Acas services increases

Wednesday 26 July 2006

Today Acas published its 2005/06 annual report which shows record numbers of people using its helpline and website services to get the latest advice and guidance on employment relations issues.

Annual Report 2005 - 2006

In 2005/06 calls to our national helpline rose for the fourth consecutive year with over 900,000 calls received on a wide range of employment issues. The top three topics covered were discipline and grievance, redundancy/layoff and contract issues. There was also a rise in the number of people accessing the Acas website with 1.7 million visits. Our seven e-learning packages, covering areas such as absence management and bullying and harassment, attracted over 25,000 registered users, last year.

The report showed that the number of claims to employment tribunals rose by 25% from the previous year. There were 952 large scale disputes Acas dealt with in 2005/06 compared to 1,123 in 2004/05.

Rita Donaghy, Acas Chair said:

'We have had another busy and challenging year. Our commitment to improving organisations through better employment relations continues to drive the development of new Acas services. Last year, we introduced the Acas Model workplace to help organisations identify the features of an effective workplace, developed key partnerships, prepared new guidance for the age regulations and continued to help small businesses develop good employment practices.

'Acas' integrity, impartiality and fair dealing means more and more people are using our invaluable helpline and website services to access good practice guidance. The challenge for us now is to continue to develop and maintain our high standards and help more organisations realise the benefits of good employment relations.'

Some of the facts and figures from this year's pdf icon Annual Report 2005 - 2006 [1Mb]:

  • The Acas helpline answered 908,553 calls compared to 880,787 last year
  • The Acas website received 1.7 million visits. The most frequently viewed pages are Acas, A-Z of work and Rights at Work
  • We delivered 2,964 good practice training sessions to over 40,000 delegates from organisations
  • There were 109,712 applications to tribunals compared to 81,833 last year. Unfair dismissal continues to be the largest category of complaint with 35,944 applications
  • The number of requests for Acas to intervene in employment disputes and conciliate between the two sides fell slightly from 1,123 last year to 952 this year. The issue of pay continues to be the single biggest category.

Notes to editors

1. Acas provides information, advice, training and a range of services working with employers and employees to prevent or resolve problems and improve performance. It is an independent statutory body governed by a Council consisting of the Acas Chair and employer, trade union and independent members.

2. The Acas pdf icon Annual Report 2005 - 2006 [1Mb] can be ordered from Annual reports and plans or on 08702 42 90 90.

3. For press enquiries please contact Kimberley Huggins or Lou Owen, tel: 020 7210 3894/3920.