According to the government body, many smaller firms do not consider going to mediators, with 52 per cent believing such dispute resolution is only suited to larger organisations.
This is backed up by statistics showing only seven per cent of SMEs had actually used dispute resolution, despite the alternative being the risk of an employment tribunal, Acas says.
Chair of Acas Ed Sweeney explains mediation can save ‘money, time and grief’.
‘Without in-house human resources and legal functions, some small businesses can be vulnerable to minor disputes escalating into something more serious and damaging,’ he adds.
Law Society and O2 have recently found that many small business partnerships do not have a clearly-defined contract, with many believing “goodwill” is sufficient.