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Secretary of State endorses Acas' role

Tuesday 11 October 2005

Acas and the Future

The Rt. Hon. Patricia Hewitt

At this challenging time for the way public services are being developed we are both delighted to set out a joint statement about the future of Acas.

Acas' mission "to improve organisations and working life through better employment relations" continues to be central to the demands of a modern economy. Acas is no longer just about dispute resolution (important though that is) but is also performing important change management work in the private, public and not for profit sectors.

Acas' priorities are in line with those of the Government:

• contributing to the improvement of the Economy through enhancing the productivity and innovation of the workforce;

• helping public sector managers to engage more effectively with their workforces to provide better public services;

• assisting an increasingly diverse population to make its way in the labour market and help all employers to meet their equality obligations.

We recognise that the key to Acas' future success is to build on its strengths and achievements and in particular its unrivalled reputation for impartiality and professionalism, while adjusting to the new demands changing circumstances bring. We have been impressed with the way Acas staff have adapted to their own internal change agenda and journey. The process of transformation is always a difficult challenge and is doubly so in a very tight financial environment. We are confident that the ingenuity, enthusiasm and resilience which have characterised the response of Acas staff will stand the organisation in good stead for the future. Moreover, the continuing strength of the relationship with DTI confirms the value placed on Acas's work by the Government.

Acas has always been part of the solution to good employment relations and it will continue to be so given the importance of getting the relationship right in the workplace.

PATRICIA HEWITT ..................................... RITA DONAGHY

4 April 2005