Workplace expert, Acas, has published its 2020 to 2021 annual report, which has seen constant demand for its services during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
Acas Chief Executive, Susan Clews, said:
"Our services have continued to be invaluable to staff and businesses during a very challenging period.
"Acas’s website has been accessed over 18 million times over the past year and our switch to remote online training due to the pandemic has been greatly appreciated by our customers.
"We have continued to deal with collective disputes, which have included conflict over safety concerns when people were encouraged to return to work and cases involving fire and rehire tactics."
Key facts and figures from this year's annual report
- Acas continued to conciliate to prevent or resolve disputes between groups of workers and their employer with over 500 national and regional disputes in a wide range of sectors in 2020 to 2021. Redundancy and pay related matters were the top cause of disputes.
- Customers accessed Acas’s webpages 18.6 million times, a 24% increase compared to the previous year. This included a record 6 million visits to its COVID-19 advice up to the end of March 2021.
- Acas trained almost 100,000 people on a range of workplace topics including the latest changes in employment law. Acas extended its webinar programme during the pandemic.
- The Acas helpline answered 711,488 calls from employers and employees. Early in the pandemic, the helpline saw a four-fold increase in daily calls with many people anxious about furlough or being made redundant.
- Acas’s individual dispute resolution service has dealt with 114,533 notifications and unfair dismissal was the top cause, making up 30% of these cases.
- Independent research has demonstrated that the economy benefits by £12 for every £1 Acas spent on Acas services, with a total net benefit to the economy of £644 million.