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Website URL : http://www.acas.org.uk/index.aspx?articleid=1342

About us

Acas 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. But when things go wrong we can also help by providing conciliation to help resolve workplace problems. We also provide good value, high quality training and tailored advice to employers.

What we do

We provide advice and support to improve organisational performance and quality of working life

  • Wherever possible, we aim to 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 and in-depth projects in the workplace; we provide online training through the Acas eLearning 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 and conducted 225 projects in the workplace.
  • When problems start to emerge, or people want help on their specific situation, we provide free impartial expert advice to employers and employees through our Helpline and Helpline Online services. Last year we handled nearly one million calls to the Helpline (0300 123 1100), and around 86% of callers were able to take clear action based on our advice.

We help people to resolve disputes at the earliest stage and avoid conflict in the future

  • We offer mediation to help businesses and individuals resolve conflict at the earliest possible stage. We help companies with diagnostics, to help resolve the problem.
  • Where conflict does arise, anybody planning to lodge a claim with the Employment Tribunal must first notify Acas and we will help parties reach a mutually acceptable solution, which avoids the potential cost, time and stress of the tribunal system.
  • If we are unable to help the parties reach a solution, the claimant can still go to a Tribunal. Acas can continue to offer conciliation services right up to the hearing date.
  • We also provide collective conciliation services, on issues like recognition, pay, and terms and conditions to help employers and employees' representatives (Trade Unions) to reach agreement they can all be satisfied with. Last year we conciliated in around 850 cases, successfully helping resolve 94% of these.

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

  • Our workplace relations experts are supported by teams who write our codes and guidance, develop thinking on new areas of work, and who are experts in communications, IT and finance.  We invest in our people to develop their expertise and leadership potential further, and are proactively involved in the Civil Service Reform agenda to benefit staff and people who use the service.
  • Identifying and delivering efficiencies in all areas of Acas' business is part of the way we work, for example through shared corporate services. We work with our sponsor Government body, The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) to embed transparent and accountable processes.
  • Acas is governed by an independent Council, which includes representatives of employer and employee organisations and employment experts.
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