ACAS: what do they do?


You might have heard of ACAS before, but might be unsure of how they might be relevant in your role as a teacher at school. ACAS stands for the Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service.

One practical example of how you might interact with ACAS is through Early Conciliation. We’ve written more about the topic here. Essentially it is one way of resolving employment disputes without going to an employment tribunal. If you are an Edapt subscriber, we will be able to guide you through this process.

In this article, we explain what ACAS are, how you might interact with them and link to their website for more information.

What do ACAS do?

ACAS gives employees and employers free, impartial advice on workplace rights, rules and best practice. It is an independent public body that receives funding from the government.

It provides free and impartial advice to employers, employees and their representatives on:

  • employment rights
  • best practice and policies
  • resolving workplace conflict

When things go wrong, they help to resolve workplace disputes between employers and employees.

The ACAS website also has a range of useful articles on topics from disciplinary and grievance procedures, maternity leave and pay to sickness leave and redundancy.

What services do ACAS offer?

As well as Early Conciliation, ACAS offer:

  • Arbitration: you can use ACAS individual arbitration for cases of alleged unfair dismissal and claims under the flexible working legislation. Arbitration is delivered by a neutral person (an ‘arbitrator’). The arbitrator is impartial. This means they do not take sides. The arbitrator considers the arguments from both sides of the dispute and makes a decision based on the evidence presented.
  • Mediation: is normally used to settle disputes about working relationships. Mediation is not judging who was right or wrong in the past, but looks at how to agree on working together in the future

If you are an Edapt subscriber, we will contact ACAS on your behalf if you are experiencing a workplace dispute in school.

If you are not an Edapt subscriber, you might find it useful to contact ACAS directly for further advice about any employment related questions you might have.

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The information contained within this article is not a complete or final statement of the law.
While Edapt has sought to ensure that the information is accurate and up-to-date, it is not responsible and will not be held liable for any inaccuracies and their consequences, including any loss arising from relying on this information. This article may contain information sourced from public sector bodies and licensed under the Open Government Licence. If you are an Edapt subscriber with an employment-related issue, please contact us and we will be able to refer you to one of our caseworkers.