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Website URL : http://www.acas.org.uk/index.aspx?articleid=4307

Acas launches six steps to success for small firms

Monday 15 April 2013

Small firms who are thinking about taking on their first member of staff or who may have had a bumpy experience managing staff for the first time can now access new guidance launched today by workplace experts, Acas.

The new free Step by Step guides, www.acas.org.uk/stepbystep will help small and medium sized businesses get the best from their people and stay on the right side of the law.

They break down the most common employment issues into a series of practical steps that a manager or supervisor can pick up and put down as needed.

Anne Sharp, Acas Chief Executive, said:

"These new free online guides are simple to use and help employers understand the basics of how to hire, manage and get the best from their staff.

"Some employers want to grow their business but are worried about getting employment law right or find it too time consuming as they just want to run their business.

"The step by step guides build on our knowledge as workplace experts to make it as easy as possible for small business owners to quickly pick up a guide that best suits their circumstances and get it right first time.

"A better understanding of the law can make the difference between managing staff well and potentially facing a costly and stressful employment tribunal when things aren't handled correctly."

The six step by step guides cover:

Acas has also launched a new online guide on managing discipline. The free guides include a legal checklist, useful tools and templates that can be downloaded from the Acas website and myths about common workplace scenarios which bring common problems to life.

Employment Relations Minister Jo Swinson said:

"We know that small businesses can find taking on staff a daunting prospect because of a lack of understanding of employment law. It is important to help employers better understand their responsibilities.

"This is why promoting the benefits of good communication, better management, and early dispute resolution is important as it can lead to the best outcomes for everyone and cut out the need for costly and stressful employment tribunals.

"The new Acas guides will provide small business with an invaluable free resource and give them greater confidence to grow their business which will in turn support a stronger economy."

The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills has today also launched an online toolkit to help startups through the process of hiring their first member of staff. The "Taking on a employee" toolkit can be found at GOV.UK - Employing staff for the first time.

Notes to Editors

  1. Acas' aim is to improve organisations and working life through better employment relations. It provides information, advice, training and a range of services working with employers and employees to prevent or resolve problems and improve performance. Acas is an independent and impartial statutory body governed by a council made up of members from business, trade unions, academia and the law.
  2. The "Taking on a employee" toolkit can be found at GOV.UK - Employing people and includes information on setting pay, getting the right insurance, understanding tax requirements and checking a new employee's right to work in the UK.
  3. Acas runs Training and Business Solutions for managers, line managers, supervisors and HR professionals in workplace relations, which can boost an organisation's productivity and profitability, increase motivation levels and ensure less conflict arises in the workplace.
  4. Acas offers a free helpline service (08457 47 47 47) which provides advice to employers and employees on problems at work. Our expert advisors can advise on employment law and help find appropriate solutions to a range of work related issues. The Acas Helpline is available from 8am to 8pm, Monday to Friday and from 9am to 1pm on Saturdays. Advice is free and confidential so callers do not have to give their names.
  5. For media enquiries or case studies please contact Shumon Rahman / Clare Carter on 0207 210 3688, Lou Owen on 0207 210 3920 or Alice Parkinson on 0207 210 3680. For out of hours media enquiries please call the out of hours duty press officer on 07825 691093.