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New Acas report - 'Estimating the Costs of Workplace Conflict'

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Acas has today published a new report, Estimating the Costs of Workplace Conflict, which estimates that workplace conflict costs UK employers £28.5bn every year, an average of just over £1,000 for every employee.

This estimate is based on the total cost to organisations in handling workplace conflict that includes informal, formal and legal processes as well as the cost of sickness absences and resignations.

The report shows that nearly half a million employees resign each year as a result of conflict and that handling disagreements and complaints early before employment relationships are damaged can help save businesses money.

Acas Chief Executive, Susan Clews, said:

“A failure by employers to deal with conflict early can be costly to businesses and our study estimates that these costs add up to nearly £30bn a year.

Poor conflict management can also cause staff stress, anxiety or depression and impact workplace productivity. There’s a clear benefit to everyone in handling problems as early as possible.

While our main findings relate to just before the pandemic took hold, our report reveals potential for increased conflict as organisations try to adapt to new changes after COVID-19.”

Workplace conflict can lead to staff stress, anxiety or depression which has a knock-on effect on productivity. The report identifies effective conflict management as critical in maximising productivity and efficiency in organisations.

The report highlights that conflict will be more likely as organisations adapt to a new normal following the coronavirus pandemic. As problems suppressed during the crisis will start to rise to the surface and will need effective responses from organisations.