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JACS Commitment

The JACS Commitment sets out the standards of service that users of JACS can expect, and what to do if these have not been met.

JACS mission

To assist in the building of harmonious relationships between employers and employees, both collectively and individually and thereby help improve the performance and effectiveness of organisations.

Our values

Our role is to seek to resolve conflict, maximise agreement and encourage employment policies and practices that contribute to improvements in performance, organisational effectiveness and quality of working life. We are committed to helping employers and employees to develop positive ways of working together, to their mutual benefit.
 
We will promote employee involvement and we will:
  • act independently and impartially, with integrity and professionalism
  • respect confidentiality
  • be accessible to all and respond promptly to all requests for information or assistance
  • use resources cost effectively within budgets
  • continue to develop a highly motivated and committed workforce able to deliver our services courteously, efficiently and effectively.

Activities

In working towards our mission we will provide a number of key services such that we shall seek to:
  • prevent and resolve industrial disputes
  • resolve individual disputes over employment rights
  • provide impartial information and advice on employment matters
  • improve the understanding of industrial relations.

In providing any of our key services we will be ready to identify other ways in which JACS's involvement might improve industrial relations.

Service standards

Preventing and resolving collective disputes

JACS provides assistance to parties seeking settlement of collective disputes on employment issues by way of conciliation, mediation or arbitration. JACS can also assist in preventing and resolving problems at work by providing advisory mediation. JACS is not able to insist on the acceptance of its assistance or to impose any solution for an issue in dispute. Before providing assistance JACS encourages parties to make full use of any agreed procedures they may have for negotiation and the settlement of disputes.

Advisory mediation

Advisory mediation enables JACS to work jointly with employers, employees and employee representatives to help overcome problems which threaten to damage the employment relationship or which constitute a major obstacle to organisational effectiveness.

We will:
  • acknowledge all requests for assistance within five working days
  • discuss fully the nature of the problems and what help might be provided and, where appropriate, be ready to suggest alternative sources of assistance
  • explain our role and working methods and agree clear terms of reference
  • provide advisory mediation only when there is joint participation of the employer, employees and/or their representatives.

Collective conciliation

This is a voluntary process whereby employers, trade unions, and worker representatives can be helped to reach mutually acceptable settlements of their disputes by the involvement of an impartial and independent third party.

We will:
  • acknowledge all requests for assistance within 24 hours, whether made separately or jointly, and seek to reach agreement on how and when we should assist
  • offer assistance where no request has been made where we consider it appropriate
  • provide appropriate assistance for as long as a dispute continues
  • explain to the parties that they alone are responsible for their decisions and any agreements reached

Arbitration and mediation in disputes

Arbitration involves the parties jointly asking a third party to make an award that they undertake to accept in settlement of the dispute. Mediation involves the third party making recommendations as a basis for settlement. JACS will normally agree to arrange arbitration or mediation only when it has not been possible to produce a conciliated settlement.

We will:
  • maintain a panel of independent, impartial and skilled arbitrators and mediators from whom we make appointments
  • assist parties to agree clear terms of reference for arbitration or mediation
  • explain to parties that arbitration is to settle the issue between them and they are committed to accepting an award
  • provide parties with a nominated arbitrator/mediator and details of any hearing arrangements within five working days
  • arrange for reports and awards to be provided simultaneously to both parties within 3 weeks of the hearing.

Resolving individual disputes

JACS conciliation officers have a duty to attempt to conciliate settlements of disputes where complaints have been or could be made to a court or tribunal under relevant employment protection legislation. Conciliators offer to assist both parties involved in a dispute to reach a voluntary settlement without the need to go to a formal hearing.

We will:
  • write to or telephone applicants and (as necessary) respondents, or their named representatives, giving information about the conciliation process together with a named contact and an offer to conciliate. We will do this either:
  • within five working days of receiving copies of a formal complaint from the offices of a relevant body, or
  • within five working days of receiving directly from an employer or employee, or their named representatives, a claim that a formal complaint could be made to a relevant body and where no settlement has already been reached
  • take prompt further action as soon as requested by either party or, if no request is received, when it is useful to do so
  • keep the parties informed about the options open to them and their possible consequences whilst not expressing an opinion on the merits of a case
  • seek to promote reinstatement or re-engagement, if the complaint is of unfair dismissal, before any other form of settlement
  • not disclose information, given to a conciliation officer in confidence, to any other party unless required to do so by law
  • encourage the parties to consider the consequences of proposed settlement terms and to seek further advice if necessary
  • encourage the parties to record the terms of a settlement in writing as quickly as possible.

Providing information and advice and promoting good practice

We provide a telephone enquiry service ready to respond to queries from individuals on virtually all employment matters (other than job vacancies and health and safety), including the rights, protections and obligations which employment law provides. We do not provide legal advice for particular cases. Our telephone number is 01534 730503.

We can provide more extensive advisory assistance and we also publish advice and promote good industrial relations practice.

Enquiry point (Trinity House, Bath Street, St. Helier, Jersey, JE2 4ST)

We will:

  • respond to all telephone queries promptly, courteously and accurately
  • identify ourselves by name to all enquirers
  • answer written enquiries within five working days
  • see personal callers promptly or make an appointment with a named member of staff.

Advisory assistance

Where an enquiry is too complex to deal with in a telephone conversation, we will:
  • suggest an appropriate JACS or other publication, or
  • suggest an appropriate JACS conference, seminar, or workshop, or
  • arrange a meeting at a mutually agreeable time and place, or
  • suggest other sources of help, such as trade unions, employers associations and Citizens Advice Bureaux.

Publishing advice and promoting good practice

We will use our experience of working with organisations and the results of any research we carry out to promote good industrial relations practice. In particular we will provide:
  • conferences
  • seminars
  • small firms workshops
  • advisory booklets, handbooks, occasional papers and other publications.

Written material will be readily available and provide practical, accurate, guidance. In order to recover costs there may be a charge for some publications, conferences, workshops and seminars.

Testing and improving the quality of service

We are committed to measuring our performance against the standards set out in this document. We will regularly review our performance to achieve continuous improvement of our service. As a regular feature we will:
  • assess the promptness of our performance and of the delivery of our services
  • ask users what they think of our services
  • evaluate the effectiveness of our services

If you are asked for your views on any aspect of our service, we would appreciate your co-operation. Details of our performance and the results of surveys and independent evaluations will be published in our Annual Report.

What to do if you are dissatisfied with our service

If you are dissatisfied with any aspect of our service, please let us know so that we can put things right. If you cannot resolve your problem with the person who dealt with you originally, please ask to speak to the Director who will investigate your complaint.

If you want to complain in writing, please write to the Director at Trinity House, Bath Street, St. Helier, Jersey, JE2 4ST.

The Director will investigate your complaint and respond within 10 working days.

If you are not satisfied at any stage you can write to the Chairman of the Board:

Mrs. S Beirne
Chairman
Jersey Advisory and Conciliation Service
Trinity House 
Bath Street
St. Helier
Jersey, JE2 4ST

We hope, however, that you will let our staff try to put things right first.

We would also like to hear from you if you are particularly satisfied with our service or have any suggestions that you think would help us improve.

This Statement of our Commitment has been based on the published Commitment of the Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service (ACAS) as it is recognised that ACAS is the model of best practice recognised internationally.

 

March 2015

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