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Recent figures released by Acas in its annual report have revealed a 15% increase in demand for assistance in resolving large-scale disputes over the last year.
The main cause of these disputes continues to be pay, followed by redundancy. Around 91% of the cases were either resolved, or the parties were moved towards a resolution.
Acas dealt with almost 18,000 disputes between individuals and their employers in 2010/11 through their pre-claim conciliation service. This aims to resolve workplace issues before they escalate into costly and stressful tribunal claims. The proportion of cases where no claim was then made to an employment tribunal rose from 70% to 74%.
The number of claims Acas received for conciliation via employment tribunals fell with just under 75,000 cases, a drop of 15%. Multiple claims - where more than one employee has exactly the same issue - such as equal pay claims, however, remained high. Unfair dismissal continues to be the most common reason for individual conciliation cases.
The report also revealed that: