Uplifts for Failure to Comply with ACAS Code of Practice

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The EAT recently considered whether uplifts for failure to comply with the ACAS Code of Practice can be made in favour of workers as well as employees. In the case of Local Government Yorkshire v. Shah the Claimant was a worker seconded to the Respondent. She was dismissed in circumstances giving rise to a claim for compensation for detriment by reason of having made a PIDA protected disclosure.

The Employment Tribunal made an award to her for loss of earnings, injury to feelings and held that as the Respondent had failed to comply with the ACAS Code of Practice, she was entitled to a mark up of 25% on the award made to her pursuant to section 207A of the Trade Union and Labour Relations (Consolidation) Act 1992. The Employer appealed to the EAT and won because section 207A only applies to employees and not workers. Even though, in this case, the Employment Tribunal was wrong in awarding the worker a 25% mark up by reason of the employer’s non-compliance with the ACAS Code of Practice, it is a reminder that Employment Tribunals may, if it is just and equitable in all the circumstances, increase an award it makes to an employee by up to 25%.

Best practice for employers is therefore to ensure that they have proper policies and procedures in place so as to comply with the ACAS Code of Practice as a minimum and that these are followed.

Written by
Edward Aston
4th September 2012