COI trawls agencies to take on ACAS campaign

The Government is inviting advertising agencies to pitch for a multi-million pound campaign to promote the need for solving employment disputes at work. The pitch is being overseen by COI Communications on behalf of the Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service (ACAS), an independent body formed by the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI).

In addition to its core objective, the campaign will aim to raise awareness of the DTI’s new dispute-resolution rules, which will require all employers to have certain procedures in place to deal with disputes by October 2004. The ACAS campaign will warn the public and small companies that disputes at work can be expensive, stressful and disruptive for employers and employees. The campaign will educate businesses about the new minimum standards required to resolve disputes, which were announced this summer by employment relations minister Gerry Sutcliffe.

The standards involve a minimum three-stage process to ensure that disputes are discussed at work. The process will require the problem to be set out in writing; discussion of the problem by employer and employee; and an appeal to be arranged if requested.

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