Wed 12 May 2021

UK Employers Spending Billions on Conflict Every Year - but is there an easy alternative?

A report by ACAS, entitled "Estimating the Costs of Workplace Conflict" was published this week and has confirmed what was already feared - that the consequences of workplace conflict are costing employers huge amounts of money totalling £28.5 billion every year, which works out at just over £1,000 on average for every employee.

This huge spend includes what most employers and employees have to go through when conflict arises - informal, formal and legal processes, as well as costs of absences and resignations. The findings showed that nearly half a million employees resign each year as a result of conflict and over 300,000 are dismissed.  In addition to the financial consequences, it is the unfortunate reality that conflict affects the health and wellbeing of all staff who are involved, which in turn has devastating effects on absence levels, morale and productivity.  The report found that out of the almost 10 million people experiencing conflict at work, over half of them suffered stress, anxiety or depression as a result.

Is there a better way?  Yes - deal with conflict early and deal with it well, which is relatively easy with the right tools.

Mediation is a perfect fit to meet these two essential requirements for tackling conflict.  It can be arranged easily and quickly - as soon as conflict arises.  During mediation the key issues are explored in detail, employees are party to the outcome and creative, collaborative solutions are devised so that conflict is snuffed out before it gets the chance to spiral out of control.  It often has the added bonus of providing a long-term solution to conflict management, instead of a Band-Aid approach.

Dealing with conflict early and effectively can avoid the financial consequences but it can also avoid the other consequences which are so damaging to staff and businesses. 

Unfortunately it is becoming more apparent that workplace problems created by the coronavirus pandemic are only now coming to the fore, resulting in a backlog of conflict and resentment.  The good news is that the pandemic also forced a new way of working which has meant that accessing mediation is now even easier and more convenient than before - you don't even need to leave your home to take part and issues can potentially be resolved in a single session . Find out more about the services we offer here.


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