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Free EnquiryACAS Codes of Practice

The New ACAS Code of Practice - What They Mean To You

The new ACAS Codes of Practice concerning disciplinary and grievance procedures replaced the statutory Ďthree stepí processes from 6 April 2009.

Therefore, the Code will not apply and the previous procedures will apply if the employer started dismissal proceedings by sending a letter or arranging a meeting before 6 April; or an employee complains about a dismissal or grievance which occurred before 6 April 2009 and/or raised a grievance letter before the same date and/or presents the Tribunal claim on or before 4 July 2009.

The New ACAS Codes of Practice

Whereas previously the failure to comply with the disciplinary or grievance procedures created an automatic unfair dismissal, this will not now be the case. The core principals of the Code are that:-

  • There should be a more relaxed and informal approach to dealing with any grievances at work whenever possible
  • Employers should consider including a mediation stage in their grievance or disciplinary procedures
  • Employers should train managers and team leaders to deal with potential problems at an early stage in order to avoid them escalating wherever possible
  • Employees should consider a far more open approach to resolving problems at work, which might include discussions with employers before considering taking any action
  • Employees must consider mediation if their employer suggests it
  • If an employee pursues a grievance or disciplinary matter through their employer and cannot resolve the issue, they should not feel that an application to an Employment Tribunal is their only option. They should consider calling the ACAS helpline before taking the matter to an Employment Tribunal. There may be other less expensive ways to resolve the disputes

Where as there is no right to take proceedings for failing to follow the new ACAS Code of Practice, if an Employment Tribunal claim is subsequently made, the Employment Tribunal can take into account the fact that the Code has not been followed.

Unreasonable failure to follow the Code can lead to the final award made by the Tribunal being increased or decreased by up to 25% of the overall award.

Therefore, if an employer acts unreasonably and does not follow the Code, an employee might receive an addition 25% compensation. Likewise, if an employee has refused to follow the Code, they too may have their award adjusted by 25%.

Clearly, the Code of Practice is designed to ensure that as many conflicts between employers and employees are resolved amicably which has to be the best option for all parties concerned.

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