It is no secret that workplace conflict can be costly, not just in financial terms but also from a time perspective and potentially affecting morale and productivity too.

Acas, the advice and conciliation body, has today published a report (Estimating the costs of workplace conflict | Acas) which estimates that workplace conflict costs UK employers the eye watering sum of £28.5 billion every year, which is an average of just over £1,000 per UK employee – and Acas actually considers that to be an under-estimation. 

The report also considers that conflict will be more likely as businesses adapt to a new normal and problems suppressed during the pandemic begin to surface.

These costs include:

  • recruiting replacement employees, which is estimated to amount to £2.6 billion each year;
  • lost output as new employees get up to speed – £12.2 billion;
  • sickness absence – £2.2 billion;
  • presenteeism’s negative impact on productivity – between £590 million and £2.3 billion;
  • in relation to employment claims – near £800 million.

Not every dispute can be avoided or resolved. However, as the report recommends, investment in good practice through training and early dealing with conflict can help to save businesses time and money – and may boost productivity.

Our employment team offer such training (HR training). For further information or advice contact the employment team on 01753 889995 or email

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