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ACAS HELPS YOU TO HELP YOURSELF

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ACAS has published two Self Help Guides to assist employers and employee representatives in writing key employment ...
ACAS has published two Self Help Guides to assist employers and employee representatives in writing key employment documents:

Producing a written statement and Producing disciplinary and grievance procedures.

These practical guides explain why a written statement of particulars of employment and procedures to deal with discipline and grievances are required, how they can be written and how they can be tailored to meet different requirements. As well as giving the legal position and highlighting possible problem areas, both guides include practical examples of what the finished product could look like.

John Hougham, chairman of ACAS, welcomed the new guides: 'Everyone knows how good intentions can be spoiled when you try to write something down on paper. The Self Help Guides will help get people started along the right lines when tackling some of the most vital aspects of workplace relations. They should be especially valuable to those who are new to the business of employing staff, but many experienced employers and personnel professionals will also find them of great benefit.'

The two Self Help Guides complement the work ACAS staff already do in promoting good employment practice and preventing disputes, for instance through our Small Firms Workshops and our nationwide network of Public Enquiry Points.

All employers are legally bound to produce written statements for employees who have been in their employment for at least one month.

By providing a summary of an employee s main particulars of employment - eg pay, hours of work, absence from work and pension

schemes - a well produced written statement helps to avoid misunderstanding and disputes.

Disciplinary and grievance procedures are important not least because they help employers and employees know where they stand when it comes to company rules and relationships. They make it clear what action can be taken when issues such as gross misconduct, timekeeping, poor quality work and discrimination are the cause of problems.

As well as the guidance they provide to employers, the Self Help Guides offer employees and their representatives a clear indication

of the issues that need to be covered. This should help ensure that the part they play in any consultation - especially recommended on disciplinary and grievance procedures - is as productive as possible.

Notes

1. The two Self Help Guides - Producing a written statement and Producing disciplinary and grievance procedures - can be obtained at a cost of£1 each (plus post and packing - minimum£1) from ACAS Reader Ltd, PO Box 16, Earl Shilton, Leicester LE9 8ZZ, tel: 01455 852225.

2. ACAS is an independent statutory body, not subject to direction from any minister as to how it exercises its functions. It is directed by a council consisting of the ACAS chairman and employer, trade union and independent members. The ACAS mission is to improve the performance and effectiveness of organisations by providing an independent and impartial service to prevent and resolve disputes and to build harmonious relationships at work.

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