Acas denies failing to consult over job cuts

Conciliation service Acas has strongly denied union claims that it refused to consult with staff over job cuts and office closures.

Last week, the Public and Commercial Services Union (PCS), which represents 770 members in Acas across 28 sites, submitted a petition demanding a formally negotiated agreement under the Information and Consultation regulations.

However, an Acas spokesman said management had consulted staff, both formally and informally, about the changes. He said there were monthly meetings with staff and its HR team was keeping people “in the loop”.

But the spokesman did admit that differences were emerging with the union.

“We have to make decisions based on the budgetary constraints and can’t always offer people everything they want,” he said.

Earlier this year, Personnel Today exclusively revealed that Acas was cutting staff and offices after a government decision to slash its budget by 16% over three years.

Chairwoman Rita Donaghy said at the time that the organisation was carrying out a comprehensive review of all its services to improve efficiency.

But Steve Farley, PCS national officer, accused Acas of failing to practise what it preached.

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