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Building productivity: Rights and responsibilities

Rights-and-responsibilities-child-page Acas has developed seven levers which provide a practical framework for workplaces to unlock their potential to be more productive. This page looks at employment rights and responsibilities.

Why is it so important to be clear about employment rights and responsibilities?

One fifth (about 200,000) of all calls to the Acas Helpline are about contracts of employment. So we know first hand the potential negative impact of a lack of clarity on employers and employees.

  • Many employers are unsure whether their workers on zero hours contracts are entitled to holiday pay.
  • Agency workers: many callers were unaware of their rights under the Agency Worker Regulations.

But having clarity on rights and responsibilities means that:

  • individuals can plan their working life and predict their likely earnings
  • small businesses can take on staff and grow in a way that builds fair and sustainable working relationships
  • likely causes of conflict are nipped in the bud
  • managers know how to manage every stage of the employment cycle, from recruitment right through to redundancy.

What does an organisation where people are clear about their rights and responsibilities look like?

  • There are clear and accessible written statements of rights and responsibilities.
  • All policies and procedures are openly communicated and reflect the culture, values and expectations of the organisation.
  • Employers and employees have access to good quality, straightforward advice and information.
  • Organisations are clear on their written and unwritten expectations and values, particularly relating to behaviours.

Rights and responsibilities: Further Acas guidance and resources

Acas Productivity tool

Take the Acas self-diagnosis Productivity Tool test to understand your organisation's strengths and weaknesses, and to help you identify simple practical steps you can take to get the best out of your staff. The tool will produce a report with links to relevant Acas help and tools.

Find out more about the seven levers of workplace productivity

Well designed work | Skilled managersManaging conflict effectivelyClarity about rights and responsibilitiesFairnessStrong employee voice | High trust

Rights and responsibilities: Acas training and support for your business

Having clear policies and practices which focus on rights and responsibilties in the working relationship can help create a more productive and engaged workplace. Acas offer a range of practical Training Courses, Workshops and Projects which use their expert knowledge of not just legal issues but, more importantly, a real understanding of the unwritten expectations that make up the 'psychological contracts' between people at work.

This means that we know that it is not just the policies that matter, but how you operate them. As well as contractual issues, it is critical  to your business success that you manage absences, wellbeing and working patterns effectively.

Let us know how we can help your organisation through our Customer contact form.

Acas also schedule training events around Great Britain which help employers learn more about rights and responsibilities. View our full listing of Training events or click on event details below.