This is the second report Acas has produced identifying some of the trends we think will impact on the workplace in the coming year. Predicting the future is, of course, fraught with difficulty but some of the developments that are likely to have an effect on employment relations in 2016 are, I think, already discernable.

In our report last year we identified labour productivity as a matter of real concern to the UK economy and it is an issue likely to remain high on the agenda during 2016. The Government certainly see it very much as a top priority as was made clear in their report on the subject published in July last year. After a long period of stagnation, UK productivity has recently begun to pick up. But, in relative terms, we still remain a long way behind our major international competitors. Getting the UK productivity levels up to those of the likes of Germany and the United States will not be easy. However the potential rewards are considerable, with the Government estimating that if we could match the productivity of the US this would equate to around £21,000 per annum for every household in the UK.

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