More than 1,500 people a week are contacting a service that helps employers and employees to resolve workplace disputes without going to an employment tribunal.
From April this year, anyone thinking of making an employment tribunal claim first has to contact workplace relations experts Acas, which then tries to resolve the dispute without the need for legal action through its free Early Conciliation service.
On 20 November, Acas published figures showing that the service had dealt with 37,404 cases from 6 April until the end of September 2014, with around 1,600 people contacting it each week.
The cases included 36,162 notified by employees. Of these, 1,156 were group notifications covering a total of 8,142 individuals. A total of 1,242 notifications were by employers.
Chief executive Anne Sharp said that Acas was pleased that only ten per cent of employees and employers had declined its help in finding a solution.
Of cases notified between April and June, 18 per cent were settled by a legally binding contract, known as a COT3 settlement after the name of the Acas form used to record them.
A further 58 per cent did not proceed to a tribunal claim, with the remaining 24 per cent progressing to a tribunal.