5th May 2016

Disciplining an employee? Follow the Acas Disciplinary Code

Article by Linda Wilson | Employment

If you are an employer having to deal with a disciplinary matter or poor performance, it is worth remembering that you need to ensure you follow the Acas Code.

What is the Acas Code and why should you follow it?

The Acas Code of Practice on Disciplinary and Grievance Procedures (the Acas Code) is taken into account by Employment Tribunals when hearing cases such as unfair dismissal.

If an employer fails to follow the Acas Code any dismissal could be found to be unfair in an Employment Tribunal, leading to compensation having to be paid to the ex-employee.

Further, any compensation awarded to the employee can be uplifted by up to 25% due to the employer’s failure to follow the Code.

What does it say?

You can access the Code on the Acas website but a few points are set out below:

  • Investigate. The Acas code requires a reasonable investigation of the facts without unreasonable delay. Ideally someone different to the person holding any disciplinary meeting should carry out the investigations.
  • Details given to the employee in writing. The disciplinary invite should include all information to allow the employee to prepare for the disciplinary meeting, including copies of any evidence that is going to be relied upon or considered
  • Meeting with the employee. An employee needs to be given reasonable notice of a disciplinary meeting and is allowed to be accompanied at the meeting by a trade union representative or work colleague.
  • Decision in writing. The outcome of the meeting should be provided to the employee writing and they should be informed of the Right of appeal.

With any disciplinary issue, it is often best seek expert advice to keep you on the right course. If you have any queries, please do give us a call on 01730 268211 and we would be happy to help. Alternatively, please email us at .

N.B. Please note that the above information is a guide only and does not constitute legal advice. We recommend seeking specialist legal advice on your own particular circumstances.