We work with employers and employees to improve organisations and working life through better employment relations. You can make an appointment to come in and see us, or arrange for an adviser to visit or discuss issues over the phone and give advice and guidance.
We run authoritative training courses for small business and larger organisations (see 'Find a course' above). For specific requirements we can customise training sessions to run in-house. We also work closely with organisations to assess their current situation and give recommendations on improvements that will increase efficiency.
New Acas training event
Effective Representation in Conciliation & Mediation
Acas have launched a new training session for those representing disputing parties in ET judicial mediation and/or in Acas conciliation and/or mediation.
This event will be of particular value to trade union representatives and solicitors.
The event will help participants:
- Appreciate the respective benefits to their clients of ET judicial mediation, Acas individual conciliation and Acas individual mediation.
- Understand how to get the best out of the respective conciliation/mediation processes, for the benefit of their clients.
- Be able to distinguish the skills and strategies/techniques useful for representing parties in the ET process (and associated Acas individual conciliation) and in ET judicial mediation and Acas individual mediation.
- Be able to identify the possible pitfalls in these processes for representatives.
Schedule of upcoming events:
You can also book a place at an upcoming event by calling the Acas customer Services Team on 08457 383736
We work with others
Acas North East works in partnership with solicitors and other local organisations to offer a wide range of seminars and conferences to help employers of all sizes get the best from their people.
The essential management development series, now offered by Acas North East, is a modular programme delivered over six days, for new managers or individuals wishing to develop or update knowledge, competence and confidence across the full range of employment relationship topics.
For further details download our Management Development Series leaflet [3Mb].
So... what's been happening in in employment relations over the last year?
Wendy Parker, area director, Acas North East
"A year ago we wrote about the onset of the deepest recession in decades. Then, Acas was responding to a dramatic increase in calls about redundancies.
"In times of such economic pressures, the 'Worklessness Agenda' is a high priority and Acas North East has been working closely with organisations to minimise the effect on workforces. Acas has been advising on working practices and terms and conditions which might help avoid job losses but, in the event of inevitable losses, Acas offers support on good practices by way of procedures when handling redundancy. Acas North East has been working with City Region Partnership on the REF (Regional Employability Framework) to support the 'Worklessness Agenda'.
"Spring brought in the Employment Act scrapping the statutory discipline and grievance procedures, heralding a new Acas Code of Practice and a new era of informal, preventative employment relations. To their credit, many employers, despite obvious pressures, took up opportunities for training on the Act. Interest in mediation as an alternative dispute resolution process has grown in recent months. Acas also launched its Pre-Claim Conciliation service offering employers and employees the option to seek conciliation before their dispute gets to the point of a tribunal application.
"We also saw the early signs of a recovery in business and there have been encouraging signs since. Indeed, the Acas Helpline saw a return to 'normality' with the highest percentage of calls reverting back to an old favourite - discipline and grievance, rather than redundancy.
"Our in-depth work with businesses hit by recession shifted from 'emergency' advice to training for managers having to maintain staff motivation and engagement through hard times. However, as we all know, the recovery (at the time of writing) is not yet 'official', joblessness may grow despite better economic performance and we may see a 'double dip', as public organisations face the prospect of significant efficiency programmes. All we can say is: Acas is here to help."