The Central Arbitration Committee (CAC) has announced that the number of applications it received for trade union recognition last year rose by half (54%).
In its annual report, the CAC said that it had received 43 applications for trade union recognition in the year ending 31 March 2012, a significant rise from the 28 applications received the previous year.
However, chairman of the CAC, Sir Michael Burton, noted that this was a return to the level of applications for trade union recognition two years ago, when there were 42 applications.
He commented in the report: "The number of applications dealt with by the CAC showed a noticeable increase over the previous year. This was almost entirely due to a rise in the number of applications for statutory recognition from 28 to 43, thus returning to the level of two years ago.
"It would be presumptuous of me to identify this as a trend but it is noticeable that the range of employment groups covered by these applications has broadened, albeit incrementally, as the years have passed."
Key figures from the CAC's annual report, including the proportion of applications made for employers with fewer than 200 workers and the average size of a bargaining unit can be found on XpertHR.