Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service

From WikiCorporates
Jump to navigation Jump to search
< Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy < Advisory, Conciliation & Arbitration Service

Acas gives employees and employers free, impartial advice on workplace rights, rules and best practice. It also offers training and help to resolve disputes.

Acas is a non-departmental public body of the Government of the UK. Its purpose is to improve organisations and working life through the promotion and facilitation of strong industrial relations practice. It may do this through a number of media such as arbitration or mediation, although the service is perhaps best known for its collective conciliation function - that is resolving disputes between groups of employees or workers, often represented by a trade union, and their employers. Acas is an independent and impartial organisation that does not side with a particular party, but rather will help the parties to reach suitable resolutions in a dispute.

Although largely funded by the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy, Acas is a non-departmental body, governed by an independent Council which is responsible for determining its strategic direction, policies and priorities, and ensuring its statutory duties are carried out effectively. This allows the service to be independent, impartial and confidential. The Council consists of the Chair and 11 employer, trade union and independent members, appointed by the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy.

Acas' day-to-day operations are managed by its Chief Executive and a management board that includes its national and regional directors. Acas has ~800 staff, based in its London head office and 11 main regional centres across England, Scotland and Wales.


  • Mar.20.2018: Acas staff fail to negotiate themselves out of a strike. Staff at the Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service are threatening unprecedented strike action amid a series of complaints over unfair treatment. Its employees and their union representatives claim that they were not fully consulted on the cost-cutting that was part of a “transformation programme” put forward by the management. The irony was not lost on Mark Serwotka, general secretary of the Public and Commercial Services Union, which represents staff at Acas. “This is a remarkable ballot result,” he said. “Acas members are by their nature conciliators but they have been pushed to vote for strike action by the failure of Acas management to deal with their genuine concerns.” Robert Lea, The Times.


Labour (Callaghan)
Acas was made a statutory body by the Employment Protection Act 1975.
1975 'Advisory' was added to the name to reflect its full range of services.
Labour (Wilson)
Conciliation and Arbitration Service: name changed, and separated from govt control, with an independent Council to direct it.
Conservatives (Heath)
Conciliation and Advisory Service: name changed.
Conservatives (Macmillan)
Industrial Relations Services: name changed.
Conservatives (Lord Salisbury)
The govt launched a voluntary conciliation and arbitration service, which also gave free advice to employers and unions on industrial relations and personnel problems.