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Acas support for trade unions facing change

We know that the next few years will be a challenging period for trade unions and their members as they face funding challenges in the public sector leading to restructuring and potential job losses and in the private sector there will be the pressures on organisations emerging from recession.

We have over 35 years experience in helping employers and their recognised trade unions reach long lasting solutions to employment relations issues. Acas has extensive experience working across different employment sectors throughout Great Britain.

In recent times Acas has worked with both public and private sector organisations and their unions on critical employment relations areas including:

  • People issues - for example, resolving individual rights issues before they become employment tribunal claims
  • Maintaining and enhancing service delivery during difficult times
  • Consultation, negotiation and working with trade unions
  • Equipping line managers and trade union representatives with skills in handling difficult conversations
  • Facilitating the introduction of job evaluation and grading mechanisms
  • Resolving pay and equal pay issues and disputes
  • Addressing working time issues
  • Introducing fairness at work policies and procedures to avoid bullying, harassment and stress
  • Resolving any issue which has reached a failure to agree
  • Stress audits to identify health and safety hotspots
  • Equality Impact assessments on such areas as:
    • Gender Impact of pay systems
    • Race impact of employment relocation
    • Age discrimination of retirement policies
    • Disability impact of working practices
  • Redundancy and restructuring in the workplace and communicating change
  • Changing working patterns and hours
  • TUPE.

Acas can take the role of 'critical friend'. An Acas employment relations expert can act as an impartial and confidential sounding board and offer a practical and impartial view to help prevent issues escalating. Acas can help manage the impact of change and assist employers and trade unions to work together to create conditions for future success.

Our approach is to help those involved find workable solutions for the organisation and your members. Our intention is to establish lasting solutions to sustain employment and improve working relationships.

We don't force anyone into taking particular measures; rather we can show what has worked elsewhere and facilitate the identification of the pros and cons of different approaches.

Our approach is based on good practice derived from what our advisers see actually working in the organisations they deal with.

We are independent of government and our advice and guidance is endorsed by the Acas Council which comprises representatives from employer and employee organisations such as the CBI and TUC, as well as leading employment relations academics and employment lawyers.

What are the benefits of talking to Acas?

  • We are impartial and independent
  • Acas will help you and your members find solutions
  • You don't have to be at the formal dispute stage
  • Early discussion often helps resolve issues before they escalate
  • You can have discussions with Acas without committing to engage in conciliation
  • You can talk to Acas in complete confidence
  • Acas never imposes decisions on you.

Further Acas services and guidance




The free, interactive Acas Model Workplace, aimed at people managers, has 10 modules, including one on Change Management.

Contact Acas

Contact the Acas Customer Services Team on 0300 123 1150 or complete an online enquiry form to arrange to talk to a local Acas adviser.