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New annual report shows strong demand for Acas workplace expertise and advice

Wednesday 16 July 2014

Workplace expert Acas has published its 2013/14 Annual Report, which shows that its services continue to perform strongly whilst delivering strong value for money to the taxpayer.

Acas continued to conciliate to prevent or resolve disputes between groups of workers and their employer with over 850 national and regional disputes in a wide range of sectors in 2013/14. This included high profiles cases such as Royal Mail and the London Underground. This area of work brings a very significant benefit to economy, assessed as £76 for every £1 spent. The top dispute topic was pay (52%).

The Acas helpline answered around 900,000 calls. The top three topic categories were discipline, dismissal and grievances; redundancies and lay-offs; and contractual matters. A new telephone number for the helpline was launched in March - 0300 123 1100 - with the aim of reducing the costs for many callers who use mobile phones. An analysis showed that the economy benefits by at least £25 for every £1 spent on the Acas helpline.

Acas Chair Brendan Barber said:

"It has been a busy year for Acas, which has seen a lot of new developments within employment law. Our annual report shows how our diverse range of services continue to adapt and evolve to help improve working life and organisational success.

"We know from experience that good employment relations and practices can reap huge benefits to businesses, employers, employees and the economy.

"Research has shown that the economy benefits by at least £12 for every £1 invested in Acas. In the year ahead, we want to build on our strengths as effective, efficient, impartial and trusted workplace experts."

Key facts and figures from this year's annual report include:

  • There were 40,938 employment tribunal cases referred to Acas for conciliation in 2013/14 and unfair dismissal continues to be the largest category of complaint with 24,306 cases.
  • Acas' early dispute resolution service, Pre-Claim Conciliation service, which became Early Conciliation in April 2014 also performed strongly. In 2013/14, 83 per cent of these cases were resolved in a way that did not lead on to a tribunal claim compared to 77 per cent in 2012/13.
  • Acas Helpline Online was launched in June 2013. By the end of March 2014, the web service had answered almost one million questions from 250,000 customers with more than 1500 people using it every day.
  • Acas' A-Z section on the website, which featured subjects from absence management to zero hours contracts were accessed over 4.3 million times. Acas' Code and in-depth guides were downloaded over 750,000 times.
  • We trained nearly 30,000 delegates on a range of workplace topics including the latest changes in employment law. Our other top topics were discipline and grievance and managing people. 

See Acas Annual Report for the Acas 2013/14 Annual Report.

Highlights from the 2013-14 annual report

Acas Annual Report 2013-14 infographic Displays a larger version of this image in a new browser window

Notes to Editors

  1. Acas' wider economic impact is borne out in analysis based on an approach developed by the National Institute of Economic and Social Research and published in 2013/14. Acas Research and Evaluation Section (2014), "Measuring the Value and Impacts of Acas" is available from Research papers.
  2. Acas stands for Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service. We aim to improve organisations and working life through better employment relations. We help with employment relations by supplying up-to-date information, independent advice and high quality training, and working with employers and employees to solve problems and improve performance. Acas is an independent and impartial statutory body governed by a Council made up of members from business, trade unions, academia and the law. For more information, see About us.
  3. The Acas helpline - 0300 123 1100 - is available from 8am to 6pm, Monday to Friday. Advice is free and confidential so callers do not have to give their names. Research commissioned by Acas and available at Acas Helpline, found over nine out of ten employers (96 per cent) who call the Acas helpline would recommend it to a colleague.
  4. For media enquiries or interview requests please contact Shumon Rahman on 0207 210 3688. For out of hours media enquiries please call the out of hours duty press officer on 020 7210 3600.