September 29


09:30 am - 01:30 pm

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Explore how we might (re)conceive and (re) balance rights, regulatory and resolution processes for healthier and more productive workplaces

Conflict at work is costly: Acas research reveals the annual cost of conflict to employers at £28.5 billion, with costs highest when employees are dismissed or resign. Almost fifteen years ago, the Gibbons Review highlighted the merits of early intervention and mediation. More recently, the steer towards resolution has resurfaced, with increasingly loud voices within the HR profession calling for less policy-focused approaches to people management. While the rationale for this generally revolves around concerns about the well-being of those caught up in procedure, it also reflects a dominant view that regulation and the accompanying threat of litigation imposes unnecessary cost burdens on employers. At the same time, continuing evidence of job and pay insecurity has led unions and other commentators to call for stronger rights at work.

Crucially, the impact of the pandemic has sharpened the focus on the importance of good work and of building and maintaining positive employment relationships, not least to combat the challenge of recruitment and retention. Moreover, rising inflation has deepened unease over the UK’s seemingly chronic problem of low productivity.

This half-day conference co-sponsored by Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service (ACAS), the Centre for Decent Work, the ESRC PrOPEL Hub and the Civil Mediation Council brings together leading experts from the practitioner, policymaker and academic communities to explore how we might (re)conceive and (re) balance rights, regulatory and resolution processes to support the creation of healthier and more productive workplaces. What might such a framework look like, how might it be developed, and how can we persuade key stakeholders of the wisdom of such an undertaking?

Our line up includes :

Clare Chapman, Chair of the Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service (ACAS)

Peter Cheese, Chief Executive of The Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD)

Paul Nowak, Deputy General Secretary of the Trade Union Congress

More speakers to be announced shortly…!