Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service (ACAS) are reporting that they have received a number of complaints from employers about companies who allege they are a part of or acting on behalf of ACAS. These companies offer initial advice to employers free of charge and then ask these employers to sign up to long term and expensive contracts for employment law and / or health and safety advice.
ACAS have confirmed that they are investigating which companies are acting as imitators; however, until these parties are identified they have offered some guidance and tips to ensure that you are not being duped:
- If the advice does not come directly from www.acas.org.uk it is not from them;
- The ACAS helpline number is 08457 474747. If you dial another number you have not reached ACAS;
- If you search for ACAS through a search engine check that the contact details are correct.
ACAS have confirmed that:
- They do not use agents and therefore any ACAS advice would come straight from them;
- Any advice based on Codes of Conduct or best practice may be given with a different interpretation from ACAS;
- ACAS help both employers and employees and offer no bias. They are completely independent;
- They will not offer to represent you at a tribunal;
- They will not ask you to sign up to a contract for advice;
- ACAS do not refer employment advisers, if someone says ACAS referred them to you, they didn’t.
ACAS investigates these imitators to prevent the general public being misled by such companies pretending to be ACAS. If you have been contacted by someone pretending to be ACAS you need to contact the Acas website www.acas.org.uk/index.aspx?articleid=3681to report the incident with:
- The name of the organisation;
- Dates and method of contact;
- The connection they purported to have with ACAS.
For further information or advice on this matter please contact our employment team.