Acas disciplinary and grievance code—application
Acas disciplinary and grievance code—application

The following Employment guidance note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Acas disciplinary and grievance code—application
  • Legislative background
  • Key principles
  • Whether workers are covered in addition to employees
  • Disciplinary situation
  • Grievance
  • Proceedings to which the Code of Practice applies
  • Exceptions: redundancy dismissals and non-renewal of a fixed term contract
  • Uncertainties: dismissals for contravention of enactment, SOSR, or ill-health
  • Application of the Code of Practice after termination of the employment relationship
  • more

This Practice Note explains the application of the Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service (Acas) Code of Practice on disciplinary and grievance procedures (often referred to as the Acas code) in employment tribunal proceedings, and its impact on outcome and compensation.

Legislative background

It has long been the case that in any proceedings before a tribunal, court or the Central Arbitration Committee:

  1. any Acas Code of Practice is admissible in evidence, and

  2. any provision of the Code which is relevant to a question in the proceedings shall be taken into account in determining that question

A failure to follow any relevant Code of Practice would not, of itself, give rise to liability. However, where, eg unfair dismissal was being claimed, a claimant could argue that it was unfair because the Acas Code of Practice on Disciplinary and Grievance Procedures had not been followed. It would then be for the tribunal to assess whether:

  1. the Acas Code of Practice was relevant, and

  2. if it was relevant:

    1. whether or not it had been followed

    2. whether any failure rendered the dismissal unfair

With effect from 6 April 2009, the Employment Act 2008 amended this regime.

Key principles

It continues to be the case that in any proceedings before a tribunal, court or the Central Arbitration Committee:

  1. any Acas Code of Practice is admissible in evidence,