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New Acas reports released

ACAS have released two new reports which may be of interest to both employers and employees.

Estimating the Costs of Workplace Conflict

The first report, which was released in May, considers the costs of workplace conflict, finding that "conflict costs the UK £28.5 billion a year". The report measures conflict in employment using figures that pre-date the Covid-pandemic, in an effort not to present skewed information. 

ACAS measure conflict at 4 stages:

Individuals who report isolated incidents of conflict or ongoing difficult relationships, and estimate the costs of resignation, absence and reduced productivity.

Costs incurred by organisations in attempting to resolve issues through informal discussion – either between the individuals themselves or with line managers, HR practitioners and/or employee representatives. 

The use and cost of workplace mediation or more formalised mechanisms including disciplinary and grievance procedures.

The extent of extra-organisational conflict, including that which results in Acas early conciliation (EC) notifications, and in some cases, employment tribunal (ET) claims.

Dismissal and re-engagement (fire-and-rehire)

The second paper, released in June, is the long awaited ‘fire and re-hire’ paper, which considers the problematic issue of dismissal and subsequent re-engagement.

ACAS was invited to carry out this fact-finding exercise by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) in October 2020, after becoming concerned about businesses using the pandemic to dismiss and then re-employ workers on new or changed contracts or less beneficial (to the employee) terms and conditions. 

Key findings included that this practice is not new to the pandemic, although that may have re-focused attention and may have increased the incidents of the practice occuring.

Note, this is the report of a fact-finding exercise, not ACAS guidance.

Posted on 10 June, 2021 by Ortolan

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