ACAS: Languages

Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy written question – answered on 15th March 2019.

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Photo of Alex Norris Alex Norris Labour/Co-operative, Nottingham North

To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, whether his Department has plans to make (a) the Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service and (b) other services more accessible for non-English speaking workers.

Photo of Kelly Tolhurst Kelly Tolhurst Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)

Holding answer received on 14 March 2019

Acas has a contractual relationship with ‘The Big Word’ to provide translation services. This commenced in July 2017 following the end of a contract with a previous provider. Acas are contacted by customers who require a translation service approximately 536 times per month, and the majority of these contacts are customers phoning their employment law Helpline for advice. Acas are supplied by ‘The Big Word’ with translators which cover many languages with Polish being the most popular, though they have used translators who are able to speak less common languages such as Turkmen.

The Employment Agency Standards Inspectorate, based in BEIS, provides support direct to agency workers and also offers translation facilities through ‘the Big Word’.

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