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ACAS annual report shows state of employment relations

30th Jul 2002
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The Advisory, Arbitration and Conciliation Service (ACAS) has released it's annual report, detailing cases handled.

Summary
- There were 100,878 applications to tribunals (compared to 105,909 in 2000/01) covering 165,093 different complaints. Of these, 75% were settled or withdrawn so went no further than the Acas stage (compared with 71% last year). Unfair dismissal continues to be the largest category of complaint.

- A total of 1270 collective conciliation cases were completed, compared with 1226 in 2000/01.

- Acas helplines answered 755,449 calls around the country and Equality Direct a further 2686 on equality issues. 99% of callers in recent research said they would use the service again and 80% said the information provided helped them to decide on a course of action.

- There were 385 requests for assistance over recognition and 64% of completed cases resulted in full or partial recognition of the trade union.

ACAS chair Rita Donaghy said: "This has been a year when employment relations have come back into the spotlight. There are some major legislative changes just round the corner - the Employment Act, Article 13 discrimination rights and the EC Directive on informing and consulting employees, to name a few. The challenge will be to help organisations take the changes on board smoothly and make the most of opportunities for improving their
employment relations.

"Demand for our dispute resolution services may also increase although it is too early to identify any real upward trend here. No doubt the new legislation will have an impact on individual rights cases. On the collective dispute side we are seeing an increase in media profile rather than demand for conciliation."

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