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Website URL : http://www.acas.org.uk/index.aspx?articleid=3505

Acas and what we do

We improve organisations and working life through better employment relations. Our belief is that prevention is better than cure.

We promote best practice in the workplace through easily accessible advice and services. Our experienced national and regional advisers help organisations improve their employment practice, as well as solve problems when things go wrong. Our authoritative and impartial advice is available free to individuals via our website and telephone helpline.

We offer an independent and trusted service for dealing with disputes (Collective conciliation) between groups of workers and their employers (collective disputes). We also deal with disputes where individuals claim their employer has denied them a legal right.

We also provide authoritative advice and guidance on employment and work policies to the Government and social partners (trade unions and employers or their representative organisations).

We have undertaken equality impact assessments into our key functions, you can find more about these at key equality assessments on our main services and policies.

Acas Disability Involvement Forum

We have established a Disability Involvement Forum since we recognise that the equality duties allow and expect us to treat disabled people more favourably when the circumstances demand it.

Members of the Forum members are not exployees of Acas. They are volunteers. The six members work with Acas to examine our policies and practices and help us undertake impact assessments aimed at removing barriers to those with disabilities. They bring a wealth of experience from their professional work, academic studies and personal experiences of living life as a disabled person.

Since its formation in September 2008, the Forum has helped improved our understanding of the needs of disabled people in a number of ways. We have revisited the content and layout of some of the material we place on our website and explored different ways of communicating messages to make our internal polices and services more accessible.

Specific activities carried out by Forum members include an equality assessment of our Helpline Service and a review of our Equality and Diversity policy, Bullying and Harassment and Attendance policies.

Members of the Forum attend meetings approximately three times a year. At these meetings Acas staff can put proposals to the group and seek their early input so that any potential barriers can be considered and addressed. Forum members also provide advice in between meetings. As one Forum member has been quoted as saying being a member of the group enables her to exercise 'personal passion for working towards enabling people to become empowered and independent'.