Disciplinary and grievance
From Monday, a new streamlined process for resolving disciplinary and grievance issues will come into effect. The central aim of this is to reduce the number of people going to employment tribunals and simplify the system for dealing with workplace disputes.
Minister for Employment Relations, Pat McFadden said:
"Tribunals can be costly, time-consuming and draining for people and businesses alike.
"We have changed the rules so that employers and employees will have greater flexibility to deal with grievances and disciplinary issues at work at the earliest opportunity. Acas' expanded helpline and conciliation services will play a key role in delivering this".
Employees and employers will be able to call the Acas helpline for impartial and confidential advice on the options available for resolving workplace problems. They will also be able to access a free early conciliation service for certain types of cases, with the aim to reduce the need for people to enter into full tribunal procedures.
Following the passage of the Employment Act 2008, a number of obligations on employers and employees when dealing with workplace issues have now been removed.
The previous system, which instructed employers to follow a mandatory three-step system in resolving disputes, will be dismantled and employers will instead develop systems which best suit their workplace. Acas has developed a statutory code of practice to set out best practice guidelines for employers.