31 Jan

Code of Conduct updated re the rules of ABTA ADR

The new version of the Code, and its associated guidance, can be viewed here.

ABTA provides a number of ADR methods, to help Members and their clients. These include:

  • Arbitration Scheme

All clients of ABTA Members have the right to use the Scheme, if their dispute remains unresolved. The Scheme doesn't apply to claims for an amount greater than £5,000 per person or £25,000 per booking form, or claims that are about physical injury or illness. The deadline for clients to apply for arbitration is 18 months after the return from holiday.  

  • Conciliation Scheme

The ABTA Conciliation Scheme is for disputes related to personal injury and sickness, up to a limit of £10,000 per booking. This Scheme is voluntary and Members can decide whether or not to agree to a client’s request to conciliate.

The Code of Conduct underpins these. It has long been the case that it makes the Arbitration Scheme compulsory on Members, and ensures that Members follow the rules, such as by paying any Awards made to clients within the time limit of 21 days. It now ensures that Members, if they agree to go ahead with voluntary conciliation, comply with the rules, such as paying any settlement once this becomes legally binding.

The Code now reads:

ABTA Arbitration
5F) Members shall allow any dispute arising out of an alleged breach of contract or negligence by them to be referred to the arbitration scheme arranged by the Board of Directors. It shall be subject to such time, financial and other restrictions as from time to time shall apply.  See Guidance on the Application of the Code of Conduct.

Rules of ABTA’s Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) Schemes
5G) Members shall comply with the terms, rules and regulations of the dispute resolution schemes offered by ABTA. See Guidance on the Application of the Code of Conduct.

There is also additional guidance in the Guidance on The Application of the Code, to help Members comply.

If you have any questions about this, please contact the Members Information Line on 020 3117 0597 or membersinfo@abta.co.uk