The most important provisions governing discipline and grievances at work are found in the Employment Act 2008 and Employment Tribunals (Constitution and Rules of Procedure) (Amendment) Regulations 2008. (A list of other important examples is given at the end of these Q&As.) As explained below, the Acas code of practice on disciplinary and grievance procedures is also of importance.

The Employment Act doesn’t apply to Northern Ireland. Disciplinary, grievance and dismissal resources specific to Northern Ireland are provided by nidirect and the Labour Relations Agency.

Employers and employees should do all they can to resolve disciplinary and grievance issues themselves and should use a third party (for example a mediator or an arbitrator) to help resolve the problem. There is a requirement for Acas early conciliation in most cases – the employment tribunal ought to be a last resort.

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