Acas code calls for policy review

HR professionals may have to review grievance procedures to comply with the new Acas code of practice, due to come into force next month.

David Yeandle, Engineering Employers’ Federation deputy director of employment policy, told Personnel Today he is “concerned” about some elements of the code covering the right to be accompanied in grievance procedures.

The code of practice, which updates the existing one on disciplinary practice and procedures, comes into effect on 4 September. It is also aimed at complementing the new statutory right to be accompanied by a colleague or trade union official under the Employment Relations Act.

But Yeandle said the code allows an individual accompanying an employee to ask questions and encourages them to take part in proceedings.

“It seems the code is moving them closer to the role of representatives. HR departments will have to look closely at procedures to ensure they comply.

“They will also have to get used to taking a more hands-on approach. This law could give unions direct influence on workplaces everywhere.”

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