The Government has issued details of the arrangements for phasing out the existing statutory dismissal and grievance procedures and introducing the new ACAS Code of Practice (the Employment Act 2008 (Commencement No. 1, Transitional Provisions and Savings) Order 2008).

The existing statutory dispute procedures will continue to apply where either the standard dismissal and disciplinary procedure or the modified dismissal procedure applies and the employer has on or before 5 April 2009 either:

  • issued a step 1 letter; or
  • held a disciplinary meeting (step 2); or
  • (if neither step 1 nor step 2 have been followed) taken disciplinary action against or dismissed the employee.  

If the employer takes any of the above steps on or after 6 April 2009, the new ACAS Code of Practice should be followed instead.

In relation to grievances, the existing statutory procedure will apply where the date of the action the employee is complaining about occurs:

  • wholly before 6 April 2009; or
  • begins on or before 5 April 2009 and continues beyond that date;  

and the employee either submits a grievance or tribunal claim:

  • on or before 4 July 2009 (for most employment claims); or
  • on or before 4 October 2009 (for equal pay or redundancy claims).

If the date of the action the employee is complaining about in the grievance takes place after 6 April 2009, then the new ACAS Code of Practice will apply.

Impact on employers

The purpose of this Order is to provide rules for employers and employees to clarify whether the old or new dispute resolution regimes apply to their disciplinary or grievance issues. It is important for employers to familiarise themselves with these transitional arrangements so that they can ensure that they are following the correct procedure.