Workplace expert, Acas, has published its 2022 to 2023 Annual Report, which reveals a significant increase in demand for its dispute resolution services over the past year.
Acas Chief Executive Susan Clews said:
"High inflation, the cost-of-living crisis and staff shortages over the past year have seen workplace tensions and large-scale disputes dominate the headlines, which have led to an increase in demand for our dispute resolution services.
"Acas has decades of experience in this area and our experts handled over 600 collective disputes between employers and groups of workers and achieved a resolution in 91% of cases.
"We also helped over 72,000 individual dispute cases avoid the need to progress to a costly tribunal. With the cost of workplace conflict in Britain estimated to be £28.5bn per year, our services continue to be a critical national asset."
Acas has continued to modernise its services, which has enabled the organisation to be even more efficient and accessible to help meet the demands of customers effectively.
Acas Chair, Clare Chapman, said:
"Healthy working relationships are a vital component for business success and the economy. The past year has seen Acas help millions of employees and businesses through its services.
"Acas has embraced new digital opportunities in our expert individual dispute resolution services which has delivered up to £100m savings to the taxpayer. Expansions to our online training have helped to meet the needs of more small businesses, which enables them to upskill and grow.
"At Acas we lead the way in promoting good work, reducing disputes and our services continually adapt to respond to emerging needs. Our success relies on our people working in partnership with employees, employers, policy makers, academics, trade unions and business leaders."
Key facts and figures from this year's annual report include:
- Acas was involved in 621 collective disputes between employers and groups of workers, a 22% increase compared to 2021 to 2022 – pay was the leading cause of the disputes
- Acas's individual dispute resolution service has dealt with 105,754 notifications for early conciliation and staff helped to find a resolution in over 72,000 cases – this reduced demand on employment tribunals and saved the UK up to an estimated £100 million
- the Acas website continues to be popular for employers and employees seeking advice on workplace rights – customers accessed the web pages over 14.4 million times in 2022 to 2023
- the Acas helpline answered 649,179 calls from employers and employees across Great Britain, with 87% of helpline customers able to take clear action following their call
- Acas trained over 41,000 people and 92% of workplace delegates reported that their course met their objectives
- Acas continued to support the development of good work charters across Britain – this has included helping the Greater London Authority and a summit that brought together leaders from across the North of England
1. The reporting period for the latest Acas Annual Report is from 1 April 2022 until 31 March 2023.
2. Acas offers tailored support for businesses to solve workplace issues.
3. Acas research shows that workplace conflict costs British businesses almost £30 billion per year. Read the Acas research on estimating the costs of workplace conflict.