New northern regional director for Acas named

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ACAS has appointed Peter McGee as its new regional director for the north of England.

Mr McGee, who was previously in charge of Acas’s operations in Yorkshire, now has responsibility for the conciliation service’s work across the North West, North East, Yorkshire, Lancashire and Cumbria.

His appointment comes at a critical time for the employment relations service. The Government has announced that, from April 2014, all potential employment tribunal claims will go to Acas’s new early conciliation service.

The service is being introduced following a similar free service that Acas launched in 2009, called Pre-Claim Conciliation.

According to Acas, demand for the service continues to grow in the region.

The Leeds office has received more than 1,000 requests from local employees and employers for pre-claim conciliation, and has resolved 60 per cent of referrals since April 1, 2012.

Since April, the Leeds office has received more than 2,500 cases after an employment tribunal claim has been lodged. Acas resolved almost 80 per cent of these disputes before they reach an employment tribunal. Between April 1 and September 30, 2012, the Acas Helpline in Leeds also handled more than 33,000 calls from employers and employees. Many of these calls related to discipline, dismissal and grievance procedures.

Mr McGee said: “For us, prevention is better than cure. Our new early conciliation service will mean that disputes will be referred to Acas before a tribunal claim is made. The work we do helps reduce the cost, stress and time involved in disputes at work.

“Good employment relations make a big contribution to the growth agenda – improved productivity and a more engaged workforce means a better bottom line.

“I’m looking forward to working with employers, trade unions, lawyers and others in the Leeds area to improve employment relations.”