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The ACAS Code of Practice is a document that should be paid attention to by employers and employees alike.  It is designed to help both parties navigate the potential minefield that is presented by internal employer-employee disputes.

The Code places emphasis on parties to be open and transparent in their dealings. There is also onus on the employer to act promptly, consistently, make employees aware of the allegations against them as well as any evidence, allow employees to be accompanied at meetings and allow employees to make appeals. The obligations placed on employers are however limited to what can be reasonably expected given the circumstances. A small employer cannot be expected to adhere to some of the principles, such as a strict separation of those hearing different stages of the dispute process, in the same way that a multinational corporation can.

Failure to adhere to the ACAS Code can have implications in terms of the amount of damages awarded to the successful party should the matter ultimately end up before the Employment Tribunal. Failure to keep to the requirements of the Code can also point towards procedural unfairness and thus be detrimental to prospects of bringing/defending a claim in the Employment Tribunal. 

Should you have any queries about the ACAS Code or about presenting a claim via the employment tribunal, then please contact: Ashley Hunt, Vaishali Thakerar or Carrie-Ann Randall at Lawson-West on 0116 212 1000. We offer a number of funding options including No-Win No-Fee funding and can help you negotiate the best outcome.