The draft ACAS Discipline and Grievance Code of Practice is to be placed before Parliament, after it was approved by the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform. Once the code has been approved by Parliament, it is due to come into force on 6 April 2009. The new code of practice aims to improve the present system of statutory disciplinary and grievance procedures, which are likely to be repealed by the forthcoming Employment Bill.
Under the draft code, the steps employers and employees are advised to take are similar in nature to the present procedures, with a written stage followed by a meeting and the right to an appeal. However, employees will no longer have to bring a grievance before lodging a claim in the employment tribunal, and a dismissal will not be automatically unfair by reason of the employer not following the code of practice.