Labour Research July 2018

Law Matters

Consultation regulations apply to Acas, says ruling

Staff at the Acas employment advisory service say they have been dealing with significantly increased workload at a time of organisational change. 

Their union, the Public and Commercial Services union (PCS), organised recent industrial action which resulted in agreement to recruit extra staff. 

As part of its campaign, the union pursued a case against Acas with the Central Arbitration Committee (CAC). The PCS asserted that Acas had failed to carry out appropriate consultation with trade unions in relation to a reorganisation. 

Acas argued that the CAC did not have the right to deal with the case on the basis that Acas was not subject to the Information and Consultation of Employees Regulations 2004 as it was not carrying out “an economic activity”. 

The CAC and the Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) both agreed the CAC could deal with the application. 

Mark Serwotka, PCS general secretary, said the union was pleased that the EAT has “supported our assertion that Acas needs to obey the rules on consultation just like any other employer”. 

Advisory Conciliation And Arbitration Service (ACAS) v Public And Commercial Services Union (PCS) UKEAT/0160/17/RN