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New Disciplinary and Grievance Packages

December 2009

A Disciplinary Policy and Grievance Procedures are necessary for every business, and the stages provided for in these documents should not be ignored!

Earlier this year the statutory disciplinary and grievance procedures for handling workplace disputes were repealed and replaced with the revised ACAS Code of Practice. Simply-docs, having updated the relevant documents in April, has now improved and extended the range of disciplinary and grievance documents by creating comprehensive Guidance Notes with the addition of disciplinary and grievance letter templates.

This enhanced package of  disciplinary and grievance related documents also includes a further update of the Disciplinary Policy and Grievance Procedures to align with these Guidance Notes and the new range of  disciplinary, grievance and appeal letter templates.

The Guidance Notes will take you stage by stage through the disciplinary procedure, the grievance procedure and how to handle disciplinary, grievance and appeal meetings. In addition, each set of Guidance Notes cross references at each stage to a set of template letters which cover most common disciplinary and grievance scenarios.

Employers risk a potential 25% up-lift in compensation payments awarded by Employment Tribunal if they fail to comply with the correct procedure under the ACAS Code of Practice. Employers should be sure to issue employees with the correct procedure and follow that procedure. In so doing employers will ensure that disciplinary and grievance matters are handled effectively, and in the event that such matters go to Employment Tribunal, cost effectively.

Although a failure to follow the Code does not, in itself, make an employer liable to proceedings, the Employment Tribunal will take the Code into account when considering relevant cases and any compensation due. As such, even in cases where, for example, there has been proven gross misconduct, a tribunal may decide that the failure to follow the Code or a fair and reasonable procedure is sufficient to result in compensation being ordered in favour of the employee.

ACAS recommends that in order to run effectively employers need to set standards of performance and conduct reinforced by company rules which help employers to be fair and consistent. Disciplinary procedures should be seen as an aid to effective management and may be useful for problems with employees' conduct or performance. Simply-docs have therefore introduced an up-to-date and comprehensive group of new documents to make compliance easier.

The contents of this Newsletter are for reference purposes only and do not constitute legal advice. Independent legal advice should be sought in relation to any specific legal matter.

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