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Acas launches consultation on Discipline and Grievance Code

Thursday 05 December 2013

Acas has today launched a consultation on a revision to the Discipline and Grievance Code of Practice.

Acas is seeking views on a specific change to the Code relating to the legal right workers have to be accompanied at a disciplinary or grievance hearing.

This change comes as a result of an Employment Appeal Tribunal Hearing earlier this year, which suggested that the Code did not accurately reflect the law on the statutory right of accompaniment.

Acas Council Chair Ed Sweeney said:

"We recognise that the current wording does not accurately interpret the law which is why we have decided to amend the Code.

"Although comments are not being sought on the Code as a whole at this point in time, we will continue to keep it under review."

Further information and copies of the consultation document can be downloaded from pdf icon Acas consultation on the revision of paragraphs 15 and 36 of the Acas Code of Practice on Disciplinary and Grievance Procedures [144kb]. The deadline for comments is midnight on Tuesday 7 January 2014.

Notes for editors

  1. The revision is being made to take account of the recent Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) decision in the case of Toal and anor V GB Oils. The decision concerned the right to be accompanied in disciplinary and grievance hearings and suggested that Acas Code did not accurately reflect the law on the right to be accompanied and in particular the law relating to the need to make a reasonable request.
  2. Acas is inviting comments on the wording of revised paragraphs 15 and 36 of the Code of Practice and also on what 'making a reasonable request' might or might not involve.
  3. The Code of Practice on Discipline and Grievance procedures provides basic practical guidance to employers, employees and their representatives and sets out principles for handling disciplinary and grievance situations in the workplace.
  4. Acas' aim is to improve organisations and working life through better employment relations. It provides information, advice, training and a range of services working with employers and employees to prevent or resolve problems and improve performance. It is an independent statutory body governed by a Council consisting of the Acas Chair and employer, trade union and independent members. Acas has a National Helpline that offers free advice on employment law issues via 08457 47 47 47.
  5. For media enquiries please contact Sophia Said, PR and Internal Communications Manager on 0207 210 3680. For out of hours media enquires, contact the duty press officer on 07825 691093.