The Workplace Relations Commission saw a 6% increase in calls to its information line last year.

The details are contained in the WRC's annual report which shows that over the course of 2021, around 12,000 individual complaints were received by the adjudication service and the number of hearings held increased by 75% on the previous year.

Almost all the hearings were held virtually due to Covid-19 restrictions.

In 2021, the inspectorate of the WRC recovered just under one million Euro in unpaid wages for employees and completed 3,433 inspections over the period.

Almost 90% of disputes dealt with at the WRC through its conciliation service were resolved.

"Last year the WRC worked through the challenges that the global pandemic continued to present, and I commend everyone involved for ensuring that their services were maintained despite the difficult operational environment," Minister of State for Business, Employment and Retail Damien English said.

Liam Kelly, the Director General of the WRC, said that throughout last year, the commission was required to continuously adapt its services due to the changing circumstances of the pandemic.

"Despite the challenges posed by Covid, the WRC handled a 6 per cent increase in enquiries, an 8 per cent increase in individual and collective disputes, had scheduled more adjudication hearings than prior to Covid, had inspected 4,500 workplaces and published a Code of Practice on the Right to Disconnect," Mr Kelly said.

The WRC also opened a new office in Cork which is now hosting the vast majority of in-person adjudication and conciliation hearings in the region.