- Effective relationships and good practice in the workplace help organisations succeed and the economy grow.
- Acas provides expert and impartial advice on good practice, and support in finding solutions when relationships go wrong.
- For every £1 Acas spends, there is at least £12 benefit to the economy.
Acas (Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service) provides free and impartial information and advice to employers and employees on all aspects of workplace relations and employment law. We support good relationships between employers and employees which underpin business success. But when things go wrong we help by providing conciliation to resolve workplace problems.
We also provide good value, high quality training and tailored advice to employers. Our expertise is based on millions of contacts with employers and employees each year and we are governed by an independent Council, including representatives of employer and employee organisations and employment experts.
What we do
We provide advice and support to improve organisational performance and quality of working life
- We improve employment relations and prevent conflict by producing statutory Codes of Practice and advice and guidance to help employers, for example on how to write an employment contract or handle discipline and grievance.
- We promote good practice by offering tailored training based on our respected guidance; we provide online training through the Acas Learning OnLine site and other tools for organisations to diagnose themselves; and we offer a range of training courses and employer network forums. Last year we trained around 30,000 people.
- When problems start to emerge, or people want help on their situation, we provide employers and employees with free impartial expert advice through our Helpline and Helpline Online services. Last year we handled over one million calls and queries through the Helpline (0300 123 1100) and Helpline Online, and around 86% of callers were able to take clear action based on our advice.
- Where more complex issues arise we offer in depth projects to assist businesses and their employees reach a lasting solution. Last year we conducted 225 projects to help address specific issues in workplaces.
We help people to resolve disputes at the earliest stage and avoid conflict in the future
- We provide an individual conciliation service. When conflict does arise, anybody planning to lodge a claim with the Employment Tribunal must first notify Acas. Our role is to help both sides reach a mutually acceptable solution, which avoids the potential cost, time and stress of the tribunal system.
- If we are unable to help those involved reach a solution, the matter can still go to a Tribunal. We can continue to offer conciliation services right up to the hearing date.
- We also provide collective conciliation services to help employers and employees' representatives (Trade Unions) to reach agreement on issues affecting groups of employees, such as pay, and terms and conditions. In 2013-14 we conciliated in around 850 cases, successfully helping resolve 94% of these. We also help organisations and Trade Unions with joint problem solving and to negotiate more effectively.
- We provide mediation to help organisations resolve conflicts that arise between individuals or within workgroups. We help organisations set up their own mediation schemes and provide their staff with accredited training to become internal mediators.
We use our experience and wider research to lead debates on employment issues
- Using evidence gathered in our work to prevent and resolve conflicts, we are uniquely able to identify new and emerging employment issues. We also commission research and consult with partners to build and share further insights.
- We regularly publish papers and commentaries, and work with policy makers to influence thinking, stimulate debate and enhance wider understanding of the challenges and potential solutions on workplace issues.
- Our experts and senior team speak at conferences across the country and beyond, offering Acas' view on critical issues in the world of work; and we welcome the leading names in employment relations and the world of work to speak at our events.
We use the skills of our people to deliver an excellent value for money service
- For every £1 which Acas spends, there is at least £12 benefit to the economy.
- We invite customer feedback and act on it. We publish the results of independent evaluations of our services. We know that customers value our input highly, but we are not complacent and strive continuously to improve.
- We invest in our people to develop their expertise and leadership potential further, and actively work to improve our capability and efficiency, including through the Civil Service Reform agenda.