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New Acas Code on Disciplinary and Grievance Procedures
The revised Acas Code of Practice on Disciplinary and Grievance Procedures has been published. It comes into effect on 6th April 2009 when the statutory dismissal and grievance procedures are abolished.
When the new code is in force, unlike under the statutory procedures, employees will no longer be barred from lodging a claim without first raising a grievance. An unreasonable failure by an employer to follow the Code will result in a tribunal having the power to increase any award by up to 25% however an employer's failure to follow the code will not result in a finding of automatic unfair dismissal.
Both employees and employers will have to act consistently and deal with the issues promptly and without unreasonable delay. In most respects the procedure envisaged by the code remains similar to that operated under the statutory procedures with a written stage, followed by a meeting and a chance to appeal.
The Code of Practice can be downloaded from Acas’s website Acas Code of Practice whilst the draft is awaiting approval by parliament it is thought this should be a formality.