CONCILIATION AND ARBITRATION SERVICE News Release issued by The
Government News Network on 2 May 2008
Today Acas issues
a revised code of practice on discipline and grievance for public
consultation. The new code will ultimately aim to encourage
businesses and individuals to resolve disputes internally, saving
money and time.
The code has been revised to take into account the changes being
made to workplace dispute resolution by the Employment Bill,
currently before Parliament, particularly the removal of the
statutory dismissal and discipline procedures.
Minister for Employment Relations, Pat McFadden, said:
"The new code is a key element in the Government's
plans to streamline and simplify the dispute resolution system to
the benefit of employers and employees.
"It will complement the removal of statutory measures by
establishing flexible, principles-based guidance to help resolve
Commenting on the launch of the draft code John Taylor, Acas
Chief Executive said: "The revised Acas code on discipline
and grievance is one of the first steps to simplify the dispute
resolution process set out by the Michael Gibbons review.
The draft that we have issued for consultation today draws on
Acas' wide experience of resolving workplace issues and will
help employers and employees deal with disciplinary and grievance
issues in a fair and effective way. The key is for business to act
early to prevent any long-term consequences."
The revised code is considerably shorter than the existing code
and provides basic practical guidance to employers, employees and
their representatives and sets out principles for handling
disciplinary and grievance situations in the workplace.
The decision to shorten the code was influenced by the fact that
many responses to the Government consultation on the review of
dispute resolution undertaken by Michael Gibbons called for a
shorter more principles based code.
Copies of the draft code can be obtained from the Acas website at
and the deadline for comment is 25 July 2008.
Notes for editors
In 2006 the Government invited Michael Gibbons to review the
options for simplifying and improving all aspects of employment
dispute resolution, to make the system work better for employers
and employees. Michael Gibbons reported on his review in early
2007 and building on the recommendations contained in his report
the Government undertook a public consultation on measures to help
resolve disputes successfully in the workplace. Following this
public consultation the Government introduced an Employment Bill
at the end of 2007 setting out a number of changes to the law
relating to workplace dispute resolution including the repeal of
the statutory dismissal and discipline procedures introduced in 2004.
In the Autumn of 2007 the Government asked Acas to revise its
Code of Practice on disciplinary and Grievance Procedures. The
draft revised code that Acas is now consulting on is divided into
four main sections:
1) A foreword, which does not form part of
the statutory code
2) An introduction setting out some key
principles to be followed when handling disciplinary and grievance
3) A section on discipline
4) A section on grievances
The Government plans to introduce the changes in workplace
dispute resolution in April 2009 and Acas anticipate the revised
code will come into effect on the same date.
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