The Acas helpline is being expanded so that its advisers will be able to answer queries previously dealt with by other agencies. From 1st April 2015 the helpline has been able to answer queries on the following topics:
- the national minimum wage;
- working for an employment agency;
- working hours, rest breaks and holidays;
- agricultural workers rights;
- and working for a gang master
This is in addition to Acas’ long established service offering free and confidential advice on employment rights and workplace issues. Advice is accessible online at www.acas.org.uk/helplineonline or on 0300 123 1100.
Given that Acas is now charged with assisting parties in preclaim conciliation before a claim may be submitted to the employment tribunal, these additional services can only serve to assist in ensuring that only meritous claims reach the ET, including claims brought by agency workers.
It should also be noted that other bodies remain to whom complaints can be addressed should a party wish to make a complaint following advice form Acas, including HMRC, the Employment Agencies Standards Inspectorate and the Gangmasters Licencing Authority, as well as Defra, for agricultural workers matters and the Health and Safety Executive.