It has been over two years since the Acas Code of Practice on
Discipline and Grievance ("the Code") replaced the statutory dispute
resolution procedures. Acas decided it was therefore time to conduct a
review into the Code`s use and impact by interviewing employers,
employees and their representatives. Their findings have been
published in a research paper.
The Code is less about set processes and more about flexibility. The research finds, amongst other things, that:
- The Code is generally considered by employers to have made tribunals
fairer since they could no longer be penalised for not following the
processes to the letter. However, employee representatives believe
removing the obligation to follow set processes has weakened the
position for employees.
- The number of grievances has decreased since there is no longer a need to file every potentially relevant grievance.
- Employers whose policies have been amended in line with the Code
stated that there was more emphasis on early resolution rather than
resorting to formal procedures straight away.
- Some employers are more worried about tribunal claims because of
their uncertainty about the legal status of the Code and how the
principles of ‘fair` and ‘reasonable` in the Code may be interpreted.