Statutory Dispute Resolution - Procedures: RIP
The statutory Dispute Resolution Procedures are on their last legs. Earlier this month the Employment Act 2008 received Royal Assent, which means that from 6 April 2009 the parties will no longer have to tie themselves in knots over the mandatory three step disciplinary and grievance procedures.
The statutory procedures are to be replaced by a "lighter touch" regime based around a new, much shorter, Acas Code of Practice. The final version of the Code was approved earlier this month and will also come into force on 6 April. The Code itself is very short (it only runs to ten pages) and does not contain anything controversial. A failure to follow the Code will not by itself make employers liable to proceedings. Tribunals will however have the power to adjust awards upwards by up to 25% if employers have acted unreasonably in not following the principles set out in it, and downwards by the same amount if the failure was that of the employee. The current minimum 10% adjustment will be abolished.
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