Procedural fairness
Procedural fairness

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

  • Procedural fairness
  • Acas Code of Practice on Disciplinary and Grievance Procedures
  • General procedural issues
  • What knowledge is imputed to a corporate or quasi-corporate employer when dismissing?
  • Fair dismissal even where procedural defects

Even where an employer can establish that the reason for dismissal is potentially fair, the dismissal may be found to have been unfair where the employer has failed to follow a fair procedure. The Acas Code of Practice on Disciplinary and Grievance Procedures will also apply, except for redundancy dismissals and dismissals on expiry of a fixed-term contract.

Acas Code of Practice on Disciplinary and Grievance Procedures

The Acas Code of Practice applies to disciplinary and grievance situations, but specifically does not apply to redundancies or the non-renewal of fixed-term contracts. For these purposes, 'disciplinary situations' include misconduct and/or poor performance, and grievances are defined as concerns, problems or complaints that employees raise with their employers. This therefore includes dismissals where the reason for the dismissal is conduct or poor performance, and constructive dismissals. The situations in which the Acas Code of Practice applies is discussed more fully in Acas disciplinary and grievance code—application.

The Code of Practice sets out how disciplinary action, which includes dismissal for disciplinary purposes, and grievance processes, should be undertaken, and creates responsibilities for both employers and employees in both of these processes. It accepts that it may not always be practicable for all employers to take all the steps set out in the Code, but in all cases, the disciplinary and grievance process must