Disciplinary procedures being brought by an employer against an employer can be a challenging process for everyone involved.
Proceedings can be brought for several reasons. But the main reasons relate to concerns around conduct, their work, or unauthorised absences.
So, What Is A Disciplinary Procedure?
A disciplinary procedure refers to the entire process of disciplinary action. It must be followed to ensure it’s conducted fairly and legally.
If the employer has attempted to resolve the issue informally but feels they need to begin disciplinary proceedings, they must inform the employer immediately.
This MUST be done in writing and must include potential consequences AND sufficient information relating to the alleged issues.
This is so that the employee has time to prepare for a disciplinary meeting. As well as protecting the employee, the employer, and the business.
The employer must explain the issues that have led to the disciplinary procedure clearly. This is to ensure the employee understands precisely why the action has been taken.
A disciplinary hearing is the formal portion of the procedure.. It is where both parties get the chance to set out their case and present evidence.
Witnesses can be called. Crucially, the employee will have the chance to respond to any information presented by the witnesses.
At the hearing, the employee can ask for a companion to speak on their behalf. But there’s no legal obligation for the employer to allow this.
If it is allowed, they’re able to set out the case on behalf of the employee, respond for them, take notes, and summarise their case.
Disciplinary Procedures – The Legal Requirements
Following the completion of the hearing, the employer is required to tell the employee how the case will proceed from thereon in. As well as how long it will take.
The ACAS Code of Practice on disciplinary and grievance procedures is the minimum standard that businesses are expected to adhere to. Although they may have their own workplace policies that have differences to better reflect the requirements of your business.
While the ACAS Code isn’t legislation, the reality is that if a disciplinary case goes to an employment tribunal, judges will consider whether an employer has followed the ACAS Code fairly and reasonably.
This applies to anyone with employment status. Although it’s advisable to follow the same procedures for all workers. Whether they’re freelance, employed, a contractor, or any other classification of worker.
Disciplinary Procedure – What Happens Next?
Once an employer has reached a decision following the completion of a disciplinary procedure, they must inform the employee in writing – as soon as possible.
The decision must consider:
- ALL available information and evidence
- Previous action taken on similar cases
- Whether the action is fair and appropriate
Not only that, but the employee is legally entitled to a right of appeal.
If the decision taken is to dismiss the employee, then it’s important to note that only a manager with the relevant authority can make this decision.
If the action being taken is NOT a dismissal, then the decision should include clear and specific goals for the employee to reach within a set timeframe.
The decision should include details of the decision, how it’s been reached. And if it’s a dismissal, the date of termination of employment and notice period (if they are being dismissed), and the right to appeal.
Solicitors Near Me To Assist With Disciplinary Procedures