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News: ACAS benefits as workplace disputes boom


More businesses are turning to Acas for expert advice on employment disputes, according to a survey of British workplaces.

The 2011 Workplace Employment Relations Study (WERs), released this week, revealed a 29% rise in managers seeking advice from Acas since the 2004 survey.
This increase was also reflected in online use. Traffic to the Acas website rose 10% last year to roughly 4.5 million visits, together with 925,000 calls to the helpline.
Ed Sweeney, Acas chair said: “We know Acas proved to be key for accessing expert advice on redundancy issues at the height of the recession with many businesses looking at alternative ways of working to minimise the impact.”
But the report also revealed that few employers used mediation to nip problems in the bud before they escalate, with only 7% of organisations reporting using Acas for mediation.
“Mediation helps resolve disputes quickly and effectively, minimising stress and cost as well as preserving workplace relationships. I would urge businesses to consider mediation as a method for early resolution of disputes,” said Sweeney.