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Unfair dismissal and the Acas code

PLEASE NOTE: Information in this article is correct at the time of publication, please contact DFA Law for current advice on older articles.

Employers will welcome an Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) decision that provides further guidance on how the tribunal will apply the procedural requirements of the Acas Code in unfair dismissal cases. The EAT held that an employer’s decision to dismiss was fair following a number of acts of misconduct and a final written warning. This was despite the employer’s failure to formally notify the employee of the potential consequences of the disciplinary hearing, or the written warning, in accordance with the Acas Code.

Despite this decision, employers should be aware of the risks connected with non-compliance with the Acas Code, and ensure that they follow the best practice procedures set out in it, to reduce the scope for procedural unfairness claims. It also highlights the importance for employers of having clearly drafted policies and procedures, which can be relied upon in the event that their actions are challenged.

This checklist highlights the key issues a business should consider when conducting a disciplinary procedure connected with misconduct or poor performance.

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