The Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service, or Acas for short, is a public department of the United Kingdom government. Its primary goal is to build strong relationships between workers and their employers, and it does so extremely effectively. Try using ACAS today.
Acas provides services to the public in three main ways: by providing expert advice, resolving disputes between employees and employers, and contributing to research. One of the most popular Acas services is its Helpline, through which the organization received over one million requests for help in 2016. Callers who contact Acas through its phone line can expect free, impartial help with relationship issues in the workplace. Employers, employees, or representatives may elect to use Acas’ online helpline service, which provides similar aid through the Internet. Though Acas cannot help to represent people who contact it in a court or legal case, it can help them understand the laws and possible steps that they can take to address their problem.
Another service that Acas provides is the mediation or arbitration of conflicts within companies. When employees or employers have conflicts amongst themselves, Acas can step in to resolve conflicts before they escalate. Specifically, Acas helps all parties involved in the conflict find a solution that is amenable to everyone. The mediators themselves do not come up with the solutions; rather, they help the affected parties come up with their own solution. This method of resolving conflict ensures that the company builds the skills necessary to resolve future conflicts, allowing them to achieve independence. Once the short-term problem is resolved, Acas can also help organizations set up long-term mediation plans to prevent problems from arising in the future. Acas can help train staff to be in charge of conflict resolution so that the company has a clear authority in charge of building relationships amongst and between employees and employers. Though the solutions and programs set up by Acas are not legally binding, the affected parties can, if they wish, construct their own legally-binding documents to make sure that all parties uphold their end of the solution. Acas also provides a collective mediation service, which is offered when conciliation between employees and employers has failed. In collective mediation, Acas helps resolve conflicts between a large group of employees, usually represented by their union, and the employers. In all cases, mediators will be impartial and do their best to resolve the issue in a way that benefits all parties.
Acas’ services are largely successful: 86% of people who contact Acas through its helpline are about to solve their problem with the advice that Acas provides. Similarly, 80% of conflicts that Acas helps to mediate reach an agreement with which all parties are satisfied. Acas has existed since 1896, and since its creation, it has been extremely beneficial. It has grown to provide huge benefits to the economy, providing, according to its website, £13 worth of benefits for every £1 it spends.