Acas stands for Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service. We aim to improve organisations and working life through better employment relations. We help with employment relations by supplying up-to-date information, independent advice and high quality training, and working with employers and employees to solve problems and improve performance. Whether you’re an employer or an employee you can get free advice from this website or by calling our telephone helpline. Employers might also be interested in our more specialised services, including training, workplace projects, conciliation and mediation.

Who controls Acas? Acas’ Chief Conciliator Peter Harwood talks about the service:

Although largely funded by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS), Acas is a non-departmental body, governed by an independent Council. This allows us to be independent, impartial and confidential. Founded in 1975, we have over 30 years’ experience of working with people in organisations of every size and type.

The Acas Council is responsible for determining our strategic direction, policies and priorities, and ensuring our statutory duties are carried out effectively. Chaired by Sir Brendan Barber, members are leading figures from business, including unions, independent sectors and academics. Chair and Council members are part-time roles, appointed by the Secretary of State for BIS.

Our day-to-day operations are managed by our Chief Executive, Anne Sharp, and a management board that includes our national and regional directors. We have around 800 staff, based in our London head office and 11 main regional centres across England, Scotland and Wales. Further information and contact numbers are available from our Regional offices and national teams page.

Have you been approached by anyone claiming to be working in association with Acas?

If you think you have we’ve provided some advice and guidance on what to do and what to look out for to Be aware of Acas imitators. Acas Model Workplace Acas’ free online tool – the Acas Model Workplace is designed to help organisations check that they have the right people management policies in place.

Of those who have used it, more than a quarter (28%) said that it had made them aware of an area where their organisation was not complying with the law (through incorrect people policies and procedures).

A lot of employers don’t realise that they are following out-of-date practices. Or that they need to introduce new policies to comply with employment legislation. Further findings from the survey of employers show that 55% actively changed practices based on what they found when using the Acas Model Workplace tool.

This tool is free to use. Why not take a few minutes to check your policies and procedures today.

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