A new report has revealed the recession has led to an increase in unfair dismissal claims and other tensions in the workplace.
The conciliation service Acas said employers and workers had been placed under “strain” as a result of the economic downturn in the past year.
Unfair dismissal cases referred to Acas increased by a fifth last year to 55,000, after falling for two years, Acas said in its annual report.
The number of conciliation cases increased by 18 per cent to 78,000, while calls to an Acas helpline doubled to between 10,000 and 15,000 a week, including a 100 per cent increase in calls requesting advice on redundancies.
Acas extended the opening hours of its helpline to cover evenings and Saturdays in response to the huge number of calls from employers and workers.
Ed Sweeney, chairman of Acas, said: “The figures underline the strain that businesses and individuals have had to face in the last year.
“Our helpline, which acts as a barometer for the state of the UK workplace, has seen a huge rise in demand for advice on redundancies.”