ACAS have published their annual report with statistics to 31 March 2010. The report indicates that the number of claims resulting in ACAS conciliation has risen 13% to 87,421.

Perhaps unsurprisingly in light of current economic conditions, the number of claims for unfair dismissal making use of the conciliation process rose dramatically by almost 10,000 to 64,878.

Whilst referrals to ACAS are up for individual claimants, the numbers for collective disputes have fallen by 6%.

Last year ACAS also set up a new pre-claim conciliation service and the report indicates that initial uptake was good with the most common claims involved focusing on unfair dismissal, unlawful deduction of wages and breach of contract. However, the figures perhaps suggest this process is more attractive to employees than employers - of the 10,000 claims involved as many as two thirds failed to reach some form of settlement as a result of employers’ unwillingness to engage in the process.

The report can be accessed here.