Acas told in court ruling that consultation rules apply to them too

07 Feb 2018

PCS has today (7) released the findings of the Employment Appeals Tribunal in its case against the Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service.

The EAT ruled against the appeal submitted by Acas on the question of whether or not the organisation is covered by regulations on consultation with its staff. PCS, which is the largest union among Acas staff, had taken a case against Acas to the Central Arbitration Committee in 2016 claiming that Acas had not consulted properly with the trade unions on issues around its recent 'Transformation' programme, which includes closure of the non-departmental public body's Liverpool office.

Acas challenged the jurisdiction of the CAC on this issue, claiming in effect that it was not subject to the same rules as other employers when it comes to consulting with staff. When PCS won the initial hearing on this point in May 2017, Acas decided to appeal to the EAT, claiming again that the rules on consultation did not apply to it.

The EAT ruling handed down by the Honourable Mr Justice Soole dismissed the appeal submitted by Acas.

Mark Serwotka, PCS General Secretary, said: “It’s quite remarkable that Acas – the government body charged with conciliation between trade unions and employers – should have gone to these lengths and used taxpayers' money to try to avoid proper consultation with its own staff.

“We are pleased that the EAT has rejected the appeal by Acas on this issue and thereby supported our assertion that Acas needs to obey the rules on consultation just like any other employer.

“We will continue to use all means available to us to protect our members in Acas in this difficult time for the organisation and its staff.”

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