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Website URL : http://www.acas.org.uk/index.aspx?articleid=4489

Helpline Online

The Acas Helpline helps thousands of employers and employees solve their problems at work and answers their workplace relations questions on a wide range issues from rights at work, changes in employment law and the best way to develop positive and productive working relations.

To accompany our telephone helpline service we have launched an online tool - Acas Helpline Online. It's an automated system which is designed to give you a straightforward answer to your employment relations questions, and also gives you further links to advice and guidance on our website.

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Where a situation is more complex or there are multiple issues, information on Acas Helpline Online may provide a useful starting point for a conversation with one of our telephone Helpline advisers.

Thousands of people are already using Helpline Online each week. The system 'learns' from your interactions, and so as more people use it, the better it will get at providing the most relevant answer to your queries.

How Helpline Online was developed

A team of Helpline advisers were involved in the development of Helpline Online, bringing together their awareness and knowledge of questions that are frequently asked by Helpline callers. Their up to date and in-depth knowledge of employment legislation and dispute resolution good practice make the tool a valuable resource. All of the content within the database was identified and written by our Helpline Advisers, who update FAQs and add to the system as necessary.

How to make the best of Acas Helpline Online

The best way to use the system is to ask a short question, such as 'what is my holiday entitlement?' or to type in certain key words such as 'holiday entitlement'. Longer, more in-depth explanations of specific situations will be dealt with by the system, but may not always return the most appropriate results.

Where no appropriate results are returned, check your spelling, try rephrasing the question or do a search on key words only, to see if this generates a more successful result. Alternatively, select the appropriate category to see a list of frequently asked questions on that subject.

Please bear in mind that it is not possible for the database to answer every possible workplace query. However, we aim to continually expand and improve Helpline Online, and we'll be tracking any unanswered questions to identify additional content that it may be appropriate to add to the system to better fit your needs.

Some feedback from users of Helpline Online

"The online information is very clear and easy to understand and a great starting place when you are faced with the stress of a difficult employment situation and don't know which way to turn."

"Really useful resource - easy to find answers, and they're explained very clearly. Such a valuable service especially during times of stress or crisis for both employer and employee."

"I found the site easy to understand and got my question answered straight away which put my mind at ease."

Acas Helpline

Remember, you can also call the Acas Helpline on 0300 123 1100 to speak to one of our expert advisers. The Helpline provides clear, confidential, independent and impartial advice on a range of areas such as employment and recruitment laws, rules and best practice for hiring and managing staff, issues around dismissal, workers rights, redundancy processes, equality issues and the duties of an employer.

Call the Helpline on 0300 123 1100 from Monday-Friday, 8am-8pm and Saturday, 9am-1pm.

Customers with a hearing or speech impairment may prefer to contact us using the Text Relay service. You can contact the Acas Helpline using Text Relay by dialling 18001 0300 123 1100. Your questions will be relayed to the helpline adviser who answers the call and a real-time conversation will take place.

Information on the Text Relay service is available at www.textrelay.org.

Further information on the Acas Helpline.

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