ACAS (Advisory Conciliation and Arbitration Service)
ACAS (Advisory Conciliation and Arbitration Service) is a statutory body established under the Employment Protection Act 1975. The functions of ACAS are now governed by parts IV and VI of the Trade Union and Labour Relations (Consolidation) Act 1992.
ACAS was created to encourage the improvement of industrial relations. Part of ACAS's function is to intervene with or without the parties consent in a trade dispute to offer assistance in negotiating a settlement.
ACAS employs conciliation officers to assist parties to reach a settlement on applications made for an employment tribunal. Earlier legislation removed the requirement for binding settlements of employment disputes to involve an ACAS conciliation officer, whereas now settlements can be made when the individual has had independent legal advice from a qualified solicitor or lawyer.
ACAS can give free advice to employers, employees and/or their respective representatives on matters of employment or industrial relations. It issues codes of practice giving guidance on matters such as disciplinary procedures and disclosure of information to trade unions.
ACAS may charge for its services where its considered appropriate. The law on conciliation is contained in the Employment Tribunals Act 1996.
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