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Website URL : http://www.acas.org.uk/index.aspx?articleid=3681

Be aware of Acas imitators

Have you been approached by anyone claiming to be working in association with Acas?

We sometimes receive complaints, mainly from employers, about companies contacting them who say they are part of and/or acting on behalf of Acas. They typically offer free initial advice but then ask you to sign up to a long-term, often expensive contract for employment and/or health and safety advice. Here are some points to help you avoid Acas Imitators:

  • Ask directly if the person you are speaking with works for Acas - we don't use agents or outsource our advice to other companies,
  • If the advice isn't from www.acas.org.uk or you didn't call the Acas Helpline on 0300 123 1100 - it's very unlikely to be from us.

If you receive a call from a company claiming to be associated with us or if you are simply looking for us on the internet, please check the contact details carefully to ensure they are ours:

  • Any member of Acas staff will be able to tell you which Acas office they work from, you can check this detail against the list of Acas offices
  • Acas uses an email address format that ends with @acas.org.uk - if you are asked to contact an organisation using a different format, it isn't us,
  • Our Helpline is completely confidential so we will never share your details with any 3rd party for a follow-up call about further services. If this is implied then the contact is not from us,
  • If someone offers you advice which is geared only to you as an employer or an employee, or they offer to make a claim on your behalf or represent you in an employment tribunal - it's not us,
  • If someone offers you free initial advice and then asks you sign up to a contract for ongoing advice and assistance - it's not us. We don't charge for ongoing advice from our Helpline or access to our website.

How do Acas's services differ from those of other providers?

  • The only services we generally charge for are in relation to mediation, specific training or one off projects tailored to employers' needs
  • Acas writes guidance and maintains statutory Codes of practice on behalf of Government. If someone offers you advice which they claim is based on our Codes of Practice or best practices guides, please note that the advice will be based on their interpretation of the guidance which may be different from our own.

Are you concerned about an experience with a possible Acas Imitator?

Tell us and we'll do our best to put a stop to it now. Write to us using our Comments, Complaints and Compliments facility or call our helpline. If possible, please provide the following information:

  • Name of the Organisation and representative(s) that contacted you, 
  • Date(s) and method(s) of contact, 
  • And most importantly, what they actually said to you (specific words, phrases etc) about Acas and their connection with Acas? - Please keep any documentary evidence you may have.

Do you believe you may have been misled by an Acas Imitator? All may not be lost - Consider seeking legal advice as you may have a claim against the Acas Imitator.