Confusing issues come up all the time in the workplace, and employers are often left without direction or guidance. No matter what the size of your organisation is, ACAS (Advisory, Conciliation, and Arbitration Service) can offer you free, confidential advice and support for a variety of difficult workplace situations. The following are some examples of issues that ACAS is adept at helping employers with. For additional information on these matters and other common workplace issues, see their website.
Creating a fair workplace
It is essential that employers do their utmost to ensure an equal and fair workplace for all employees. This makes good business sense, and it’s also supported by the Equality Act 2010. Understanding this act and what it stands for is the responsibility of every employer. If you have any questions about the nine protected characteristics that are outlined in this legislation, ACAS can help. They can also aid you in resolving any particular workplace issues that relate to fair and equal opportunity.
Having difficult conversations with employees
Problematic issues at work often necessitate one-on-one conversations between employers and their employees. From redundancies and disciplinary actions to disputes about holiday pay and time off, employers often dread these conversations out of fear that they will inevitably be tense and upsetting. Fortunately, there are steps that employers can take so that this isn’t the case. ACAS can help you prepare for these situations so that tensions are diffused and–where possible–so that the meetings can be as informal and comfortable as possible.
Understanding the National Minimum Wage and National Living Wage
According to law, most employees are entitled to certain minimum pay-per-hour wages. For any one worker, much of the ultimate rate they deserve will be based on two factors: whether or not they are an apprentice and how old they are. Because these rates are reviewed annually, it can sometimes be difficult for employers to stay on top of them. On their website, ACAS always has up-to-date information on NMW /NLW rates and can also talk you through any extenuating wage issues that you may encounter.
Eradicating bullying and harassment in the workplace
Any unwanted behaviour that causes an employee to feel degraded, offended, humiliated, or intimidated is deemed a form of harassment or bullying. When employees come to you with accounts like these, it is your responsibility to handle the situation carefully and dutifully. Not only do your employees have rights under the Equality Act 2010, but this type of behaviour will inevitably lead to low morale and an unproductive and unhappy workplace. It is crucial to handle situations like these with sensitivity and resolution, but this can be a challenge. Fortunately, ACAS is always here to help and can help you resolve any specific issues that trouble you.
Contact ACAS for more information
Additional information on all of these topics can be found on the ACAS website at ACAS.org.uk, or you can contact ACAS directly through their helpline. Service hours are posted on their website. Any information shared between you and ACAS is confidential, and all services are completely free.