The Government has published details of the proposed arrangements for phasing out the existing statutory dismissal and grievance procedures and introducing the new ACAS Code of Practice.
These transitional arrangements detail which procedure will apply to dismissals, disciplinaries and grievances in the months leading up to the introduction of the new ACAS Code on 6 April 2009.
It is important for employers to familiarise themselves with these transitional arrangements so they can ensure that they are following the correct procedure when dealing with disciplinary or grievance matters.
The arrangements are set out in the draft Employment Act 2008 (Commencement No. 1 Transitional Provisions and Savings) Order 2008 and provide the following.
Disciplinary action or dismissal - the existing statutory procedures will apply where, before 6 April 2009, the employer:
- has sent the employee a step 1 letter; or
- has held a disciplinary (step 2) meeting; or ( if neither step 1 or 2 have been followed)
- has taken disciplinary action 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.
Grievances - the existing statutory procedure will apply where the date of the action the employee is complaining about occurs on or before 5 April 2009 and continues after that date and the employee either submits a grievance or Tribunal claim on or before the 4 July 2009 (for most discrimination claims) or on or before 4 October 2009 (for equal or redundancy pay claims)
If the date of the action the employee is complaining about in their grievance takes place on or after 6 April 2009, then the new ACAS Code of Practice will apply.