The government is to draw up new employment dispute rules as part of the new Employment Bill, due to take effect in April 2009. Previous legislation setting a strict three part process that both employers and employees had to follow has been found to be overly complex and unworkable and will be scrapped. The abolition will mean a return to the old law and the requirement for a fair procedure. A raft of new measures will be introduced which encourage early resolution of disputes. These include extending Acas's powers of conciliation and the removal of the fixed conciliation period. Employers will be advised to follow new guidelines being drawn up by Acas. If an employer 'unreasonably’ fails to follow the guidelines any compensation awarded could be increased by 25%.

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