I can provide advice on exhausting internal procedures to resolve disputes in the workplace.
As from 6 April 2009 employment tribunals can adjust compensatory awards upwards or downwards by up to 25% according to adherence to a revised Acas Code of Practice on discipline and grievance. The revised Code of Practice on Disciplinary and Grievance Procedures consists of a Foreward, an Introduction, a section on handling disciplinary issues and a section on handling grievances. The Forward contains a number of general aspirations; for example, that employers and employees should always seek to resolve disciplinary and grievance issues in the workplace and that where this is not possible, they should consider using an independent third party as a mediator. It also advises employers to keep a written record of any disciplinary and grievance cases they deal with and suggests that organisations may wish to consider dealing with issues involving bullying, harassment or whistleblowing under a separate procedure. Accompanying the Code is an 82 page non-statutory guide, ‘Discipline and grievances at work’ (‘the Acas guide’) that provides detailed advice and guidance. The Guide is available on the Acas website. The Code is admissible in evidence in any tribunal proceedings and any provision of the Code that is relevant to any question arising must be taken into account in determining that question.