Filling the GAP in HR services: Insert expletive of your choice
‘It is a real shame that ACAS is falling down in its main job: supporting people who have been unfairly treated by their employers.
We’ve always had a lot of contact on our client’s behalf with ACAS at the Early Conciliation level (the month before they start an official tribunal).
Their conciliators have always only been a messenger, without legal power and no jurisdiction to decide who is “right”.
Generally, they have been very realistic and informed and helpful in the process.
But that was before Coronavirus.
In the past two months, we’ve had to deal with two nightmares “conciliators” who had no idea about the law or how to do their job.
The first one felt that it was unfair (!) that an employee had been fired after 4 months service without following a full disciplinary process.
As you probably know, under 2 years there is no protection from unfair dismissal for employees. And we have in our contracts and handbook that we will not be using the disciplinary process on staff under 2 years.
But the ACAS conciliator had not heard of it, telling me bluntly, “You are not allowed to do that!”.