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

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

  • Acas disciplinary and grievance code—application
  • Legislative background
  • Key principles
  • Supplementary Acas guidance
  • Whether workers are covered in addition to employees
  • Disciplinary situation
  • Definition of 'disciplinary'
  • Disciplinary action
  • Grievance
  • Proceedings to which the Code of Practice applies
  • More...

Coronavirus (COVID-19): Issues relating to handling disciplinary and grievance matters during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic are considered in Practice Note: Coronavirus (COVID-19)—handling disciplinary and grievance issues during the pandemic.

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

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