Disciplinary Procedure

Employers are obliged by law to provide employees with information about disciplinary and grievance procedures. These procedures must be in line with the ACAS Code of Practice.

It is imperative that employers adhere to disciplinary procedures in relation to verbal and written warnings and dismissal, if they wish to avoid a claim of unfair dismissal or wish to move towards a dismissal.

The disciplinary procedure should include information about the steps that the employer must follow. These steps will include the following:

  1. Investigate: investigation must be reasonable in all of the circumstances of the case and carried out without delay and impartially. It may be advisable to hold an investigation meeting with the employee prior to deciding whether further disciplinary action is necessary;
  2. Does the matter warrant further action. Consider whether the allegation can be dealt with informally prior to instigating a formal procedure;
  3. Consider suspension. Suspension should only be used an a tool for investigation and not as a punitive measure. The employee should be notified of suspension and relevant terms in contract in writing;
  4. Write to employee setting out allegations in writing, notifying them of the date, time and place of meeting and their right to bring a companion (only entitled to have a colleague or trade union representative present). The letter should also set out potential outcome of the meeting but the decision should not be made in advance of the meeting;
  5. Hold disciplinary meeting in order to go through the allegations and evidence obtained and to take the employee’s side of things. Have a note taker present;
  6. Provide the outcome in writing along with the right of appeal;
  7. If employee appeals send a letter inviting to an appeal meeting with an independent person and hold appeal meeting.

It is really important that as a minimum when dealing with disciplinary and grievances that the employer is aware of and follows the Acas Code of Practice. The Code can be found here.

Here to help

Our specialist teams can provide full service legal advice and assistance, providing practical and cost-effective solutions.

Latest Employment News

4 minute read

What is a voluntary severance scheme? Your questions answered.

4 minute read

Menopause in the workplace – what needs to be in an employer’s policy

3 minute read

Are employees allowed to use AI at work?

3 minute read

Time to care – employee right to Carer’s Leave

Our offices

Bournemouth
302 Charminster Road
Bournemouth
Dorset
BH8 9RU
01202 525333 Contact
London
Office 320 107 – 111 Fleet Street
London
EC4A 2AB
02039 784720 Contact
Poole
14a Haven Road
Canford Cliffs
Poole
Dorset
BH13 7LP
01202 709898 Contact
Ringwood
Monmouth Court
Southampton Road
Ringwood
Hampshire
BH24 1HE
01425 484848 Contact
Swanage
55 High Street
Swanage
Dorset
BH19 2LT
01929 422233 Contact
Wimborne
39a East Street
Wimborne
Dorset
BH21 1DX
01202 057676 Contact