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Website URL : http://www.acas.org.uk/index.aspx?articleid=3278

Acas support for Local Government organisations undergoing change

The next few years will be a challenging period for Local Government, its employees and partner organisations as the changes brought about by the current government's measures to reduce the national budget deficit are implemented. Many of the savings required to bridge the funding gap will inevitably be made through reducing employee numbers and restructuring organisations.

We are a public body ourselves and as an authority on change management and employment relations, we are in a position to offer not only a range of services that can help you through difficult times but also an appreciation of the local government sector and the challenges it faces.

We keep ourselves updated on the latest developments through our links with local authorities, the Local Government Employers' Organisation, LGA, the Department for Local Government and Communities and the local government trade unions. The breadth and depth of our relationships with all parties places us in a unique position to help you implement these changes.

Why call Acas?

You can trust Acas. You can talk to us in complete confidence and we will help you and your workforce find practical solutions. You don't have to be in dispute. We don't impose decisions on you. We have over 35 years experience in helping organisations reach long lasting solutions to employment relations issues.

An Acas Senior Adviser with local knowledge can act as a sounding board and offer a practical, impartial view to help prevent issues escalating. Our approach is to help you find workable solutions for you and your workforce. We can show you what has worked elsewhere and the pros and cons of different approaches.

This includes extensive experience working with a range of local authorities throughout the country.

Just some of the areas we can help with:

  • Managing change
  • TUPE transfers
  • Managing staff redundancy programmes
  • Considering alternatives to redundancy
  • Reducing stress and absenteeism in the workplace
  • Employee engagement
  • Equal pay and single status issues
  • Facilitating focus groups
  • Monitoring and impact assessments
  • Improving line-management skills
  • Reducing conflict in the workplace
  • Handling difficult conversations
  • Reducing bullying and harassment
  • Improving mediation skills
  • Changing working patterns and hours
  • Mergers and integrating groups of employees
  • Contracts and terms and conditions
  • Varying contracts.

Some examples of how we have helped

"At North Lincolnshire Council, as with all public sector organisations, we are going through massive changes at the present time. Staff numbers are having to reduce and we are all having to become more effective and efficient in what we do. We have identified that managers need support during this period of change and asked ACAS to come and deliver a support package to them.

We arranged for trainers to come and deliver some in-house sessions around employee engagement, having difficult conversations, managing change and performance and mediation skills. We were delighted to find out that these courses were part funded so we got them at a great price.

Some feedback about delivery of the courses was 'good experienced trainers', 'informal and interesting', 'well paced' and 'open discussion throughout'. When asked how the learning would be used managers made the following comments 'use best practice to inform own actions during forthcoming changes', 'a good opportunity to reflect and consider ways to improve', 'in the coming months we have many changes and I feel enabled to engage more effectively with my team' and 'I feel I have learnt skills I can easily use"

The courses were so popular that we have arranged some repeat sessions to go into our 2011-2012 corporate training programme".

Senior Learning and Development Officer

North Lincolnshire Council

Case study - Milford Haven Port Authority and Proposed Changes to Pensions

Milford Haven Port Authority is a trust port accountable to both its stakeholders and Government. In autumn 2009, the Authority began a programme of consultation with its 200 employees regarding the future of their pensions. The proposal was a shift for all employees to a new contributory career adjusted pension scheme. From the management perspectives, objectives were two fold. First the deficit in the pension scheme was a matter of growing concern to the Board and Authority - estimated to be in the region of £9 million. Second was the desire to iron out perceived unfairness in pension status across the Authority.

Read how Acas provided support in the full case study

Contact Acas

Acas has local offices and expertise across Great Britain. Contact Acastoday on 0300 123 1150 to arrange a free and confidential consultation with an Acas advisor. Our advisor will talk through your issues and help diagnose the way forward for your organisation.

Alternatively you can complete an online enquiry form.

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