A disciplinary meeting is something that happens in all workplaces.
Whether it’s due to alleged misconduct, absences, or work performance, the reality is that sometimes mistakes are made and there are issues that need resolving.
But the process can be difficult to understand at first. It’s CRUCIAL that it’s followed correctly to ensure a fair and proper disciplinary process for any employee.
What Is A Disciplinary Meeting?
A disciplinary meeting, also known as a disciplinary hearing, is the conclusion of disciplinary action. The point where both the employee and employer have a chance to present evidence.
The employer should explain any alleged performances issues or misconduct clearly. Go through the evidence, and ensure that notes are taken by someone present at the hearing.
The meeting is the employee’s chance to set out their case, answer any allegations against them, ask questions, demonstrate evidence, call any witnesses, and respond to information presented by witnesses.
Employees are entitled to ask for a companion to speak on their behalf, but the employer is not required to allow this.
If allowed, they can set out the employee’s case, respond on their behalf, take notes, and summarise their case.
Disciplinary Action – What Does It Mean?
You might see a variety of language used about disciplinary action, but in essence, it’s a formal procedure where an employer will act on misconduct or an employee’s performance.
The first relates to your performance in a work setting, which basically means they have significant concerns about your capability to perform your role to the required ability.
There are a few routes they can take, including offering support, training, encouragement to improve, and putting together a plan for your development.
However, misconduct refers to inappropriate behaviour that breaks workplace rules, including bullying, refusing to work, harassment, and unauthorised absences.
It’s important to note that misconduct is different to gross misconduct, which relates to matters that have an extremely serious effect.
How Long Does A Warning Last On Record?
The usual standard time that a warning will last on file is 6 months.
That’ll depend on the policies and code of conduct that each workplace has in place, though.
For example, a final warning might last on file for a longer period such as 12 months.
It might even be that a warning stays on file for an indeterminate amount of time. For it to be reviewed at some point in the future.
However, the period that the warning will stay on your record MUST be clearly defined in the confirmation of disciplinary action. OR within the policies and procedures included in your employment contract… or both.
In essence, it’ll depend on the individual employer and the agreed terms and conditions when the employment contract was signed.
What Should I Be Aware Of Before A Disciplinary Meeting?
Employers must follow strict protocol to ensure they’re adhering to employment law.
The reality is that most procedures WILL be compliant. But to avoid the potential for successful appeals of any decision based on improper procedure, certain questions must be asked at the beginning of any disciplinary meeting.
These are questions such as:
- Do you know why the disciplinary hearing is taking place?
- Do you understand the nature of the allegations made against you?
- Have you received full details of the allegations in writing?
- Have you been granted access to the company’s code of conduct and disciplinary procedure?
- Do you know that you have a right to be accompanied in this disciplinary hearing?
Any final decision should be reached based on the available information. Any action the employer has taken on similar cases in the past. Whether the action they’re taking can be deemed fair and appropriate.
If the decision is NOT dismissal, then the employer should include specific timeframes and goals for the employee to reach. As well as details on the reasons for the decision AND information on the employee’s right to appeal.
Solicitors Near Me To Assist With A Disciplinary Meeting