The procedure included that employees need to be informed and invited to a meeting, then hold the meeting, allow to the right to appeal, but for misconduct dismissals, there are no specific procedures. In the code of conduct of 2000/2004, informal dealings were given priority, types of warnings issued in the 2000 code was verbal or written but in 2004 it was a written warning issued only, the duration of the warnings in this code was stated, list of essential features of the procedures are in a particular place, Natural justice was mentioned, written records of disciplinary acts are most important and gross misconduct indicator is listed.
Under the 2009 code of conduct, informal dealings are not fully addressed, the warning issued in this conduct is only written warning, length of warning issued are not specified, the essentials features are not listed, natural justice has not been specifically mentioned, written records are not important or not emphasised and indicator of gross misconduct is not listed. The code states that, according to the ACAS code of conduct 2009, this code is designed to help workers, managers and representatives to employees to deal with disciplinary situations and the code of 2004 states that orderly employment relations, individuals should be treated fairly and consistently.
This means, from my point of view, the main change here is that discipline procedures with this code is to help managers, workers and their representatives deal with disciplinary matters not orderly employment relations. In addition, from the codes 2004 and 2009, the ACAS 2004 states that disciplinary procedures should not be viewed as imposition of punishment but encouraging improvement to employees with poor performance or misconduct, but in the ACAS 2009 code of conduct does not state any view or any individual advice on any issues relating to performance.
In paragraph 3 ACAS code 2009, states that where some form of formal action is needed, what action is reasonable will depend on all conditions or state of affairs of the particular cases. Employment tribunals will take the size and resources of an employer into account when deciding on relevant cases and sometimes not practicable to be carried in full steps by the managers. In contrast, in the 2009 code, there is no statutory procedure and compensations may vary upwards or downwards.
According to ACAS 2009 paragraph 4, it stated that employers and employees should raise and deal with issues promptly and should not delay meetings or any confirmation of decisions. Next, the employers and employees should act in a consistent manner. Employers should carry out any necessary investigations to establish the facts of the case. Employers should inform employees of the basis of the problem and have the opportunity to put their case in response before decisions are made. Employers should allow employees to be accompanied at any formal disciplinary meetings. Employers should allow an employee to appeal against any formal decisions made. Overall, the employer has some rules that have to be followed and employees should also be given the rights to some circumstances.
ACAS 2004 paragraph 52; management is responsible for maintaining and setting standards of performance in an organisation for ensuring that disciplinary rules and procedure are in place. Employers are legally required to have disciplinary procedures and it is a good idea to involve employees with representatives when making and changing rules and procedures for clarity. Coverage of disciplinary issues usually include; under ACAS 2004 paragraph 53; bad behaviour, poor unsatisfactory performance, harassment, misuse company facilities, poor time keeping, unauthorised absenteeism, fail to follow instructions. In ACAS 2009, there are no statutory procedures stated.
After analysing the codes of conduct 2004 and 2009 respectively, there have been many obvious changes from the 2004 code to the current 2009 code of conduct. The obvious change is informal dealings not fully addressed, first warning issued is written, length of warning is unspecified, essential features are not listed, natural justice has no specific mention, written records are not made compulsory, indicative gross misconduct cases are not listed in this 2009 ACAS code of conduct.
This disciplinary procedure is designed to help, employers, employees with their representatives’ deal with disciplinary situations in the workplace. In almost all tribunal cases, ACAS 2004 has a statutory duty to offer conciliation to the parties in order that they agree a resolution to their dispute. (Gibbons, 2007) Comparison of the 2004 and 2009 ACAS code of conduct is that the 2004 code of conduct has a statutory procedure followed if possibility of worker taking disciplinary to a tribunal whilst 2009 code of conduct is similar but has no statutory procedure.
Torrington, D (2008). Human Resource Management. London: Prentice Hall. P600-601
Gibbons, M (2007). A review of employment dispute in Great Britain. Department of Trade and Industry. P 7