No Harsh or Inhumane Treatment

What you must do - Law 2

Disciplinary Procedures

  • All employers, regardless of size, should operate a discipline and grievance procedure which meets the requirements of the ACAS Code of Conduct.

  • Employers will not be liable for not following the Code of Conduct, but employees may be entitled to increased compensation payments if any aspect of the code is not followed.

  • Issues should be dealt with promptly and transparently.

  • Issues should be dealt with consistently

  • Issues should be communicated to workers and workers given an opportunity to put their case in response to those issues.

  • Workers should be able to be accompanied to a discipline or grievance meeting.

  • Workers should be able to appeal against any decision made.

An Employment Tribunal can make an award of an increase in compensation of up to 25% for failure to comply with any aspect of the code.

Employers can have their own contractual disciplinary and grievance

procedures, but these should follow the ACAS Code of Conduct as a minimum standard.

Download the ACAS Code of Conduct here:

Grievance procedure

  • All employers, regardless of size, must operate a minimum standard compulsory grievance procedure and employees must be made aware of this.

  • This will ensure that your workers are aware of how to go about making complaints and can be confident that they can do this without fear of reprisals.

Although workers should be able to talk with their line managers informally, the formal procedure is still required to deal with situations and circumstances where an informal approach is inappropriate


The procedure has three steps:

  • Step one: the employee informs the employer of the grievance in writing.

  • Step two: meeting to discuss the grievance; and

  • Step three: hold an appeal, if requested.

If an employee wishes to use a grievance as the basis of a complaint to an employment tribunal they must first complete step 1 of the statutory grievance procedure. Employment tribunals may adjust any award of compensation by 10% to 50% for failure by either party to follow relevant steps of the statutory procedure.

As above information about grievance procedure should be included in an employment contract.

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