The ACAS Code of Practice

The ACAS Code Of Practice

The ACAS Code of Practice provides basic guidance to employers, employees and their representatives and sets out the main principles for handling disciplinary and grievance situations in the workplace.

The ACAS Code of Practice replaced the 2004 Compulsory Statutory Dispute Resolution Procedures and the 2004 ACAS Code of Practice 1. All businesses are required to provide written Disciplinary Rules and Procedures. This requirement has been in force since October 2004 with the application of the Employment Act 2002 (Dispute Resolution) Regulations 2004 prior to April 2009. All employers must have had in place minimum statutory procedures to resolve dismissal, disciplinary and grievance disputes in the workplace, and to notify their employees of these procedures.

The 2009 Code makes the procedure more informal and flexible and aims to reduce the need to go to tribunal and the costs associated with this process. The Code does not apply to dismissals due to redundancy or the non-renewal of fixed term contracts on their expiry.

Although the ACAS Code of Practice are guidelines and are in themselves not legally binding, they play an important role within Employment Tribunals, in that a tribunal will consider whether the employer has followed the ACAS Code. If the employer fails to comply with the Code the tribunal may adjust any awards made by up to 25% for unreasonable failure to comply.

The Disciplinary and Grievance Procedures contain the following sections:
1. Foreword
2. The Code of Practice
3. Discipline
4. Grievance

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