Acas launches free guides for small firms

Published:  16 April, 2013

Small firms can now access new guidance launched recently by the Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service (Acas).

The new step-by-step guides will help small and medium-sized businesses get the best from their people and stay on the right side of the law, by breaking down the most common employment issues into a series of practical steps for managers and supervisors.

Anne Sharp, Acas chief executive, explained: "These new free online guides are simple to use and help employers understand the basics of how to hire, manage and get the best from their staff.

“Some employers want to grow their business but are worried about getting employment law right or find it too time-consuming as they just want to run their business. The step-by-step guides build on our knowledge as workplace experts to make it as easy as possible for small business owners to quickly pick up a guide that best suits their circumstances and get it right first time.

"A better understanding of the law can make the difference between managing staff well and potentially facing a costly and stressful employment tribunal when things aren't handled correctly."

The six step-by-step guides cover:

  • Recruiting an employee
  • Settling in a new employee
  • The new employee's contract
  • Managing a complaint at work
  • Managing staff absence
  • How to get the best out of your staff.

In addition, Acas has launched a new online guide on managing discipline. The free guides include legal checklists, useful tools and templates that can be downloaded from the Acas website, and myths about workplace scenarios which bring common problems to life.

Employment relations minister Jo Swinson said: "We know that small businesses can find taking on staff a daunting prospect because of a lack of understanding of employment law. It is important to help employers better understand their responsibilities. This is why promoting the benefits of good communication, better management, and early dispute resolution is important as it can lead to the best outcomes for everyone.

"The new Acas guides will provide small business with an invaluable free resource and give them greater confidence to grow their business which will in turn support a stronger economy."

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