London firms benefit from Acas free advice service

from conciliation service Acas are offering small firms in London free advice
to sort out employment disputes.

employment-relations advice service will help firms with fewer than 50
employees, and hopes to help firms avoid being taken to a costly employment

free programme, originally piloted in East London, is now being offered across
Greater London, and will run until September this year.

the scheme, Acas advisers will:

visit employers to give advice on the range of possible actions available to
deal with a particular employment problem, and the possible legal consequences

use mediation to help solve disputes in the workplace

provide an independent person to hear an employee’s appeal against a discipline
or grievance procedure decision.

Gibson, London region director said: "Acas has a strong track record of
offering free mediation when an employee has made a complaint to the employment
tribunal. Last year, almost 100,000 complaints were made to an employment
tribunal, yet only 23 per cent ended up at a hearing.

year thousands of people put in applications to take their employer to an
employment tribunal, yet often with a little help and discussion at an earlier
stage, this could have been avoided. That’s the aim behind this programme of
free mediation for London businesses," said Gibson.

By Quentin Reade

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