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Ed Sweeney, chairman of Acas, has highlighted four key areas that he sees as the likely workplace issues in the year ahead.
The first issue could be employers struggling to keep up workforce morale and commitment when both their organisation and Britain's economy is struggling. Another is that many bosses and staff will want to resolve disagreements quickly.
And third, more employers will need to learn how to harness fully the benefits of using social media websites as a marketing tool, while effectively managing any misuse which can damage a business's reputation. A fourth may be the impact of older workers retiring later.
With regard to employment relations, Ed Sweeney said:
"In 2012 we could see tensions where employees are looking to make up for the pay and other concessions made during the recession.
If inflation continues to rise, the mood for industrial action over pay claims is also likely to rise. We could still be in for a bumpy 12 months although we should remember that the partnership approach to employment relations arose out of the recession in the 1990s. We may see a similar pragmatic approach to employment relations this time around."