Do I have to put a disciplinary on hold if an employee raises a grievance?
Quite often an employee who faces disciplinary proceedings will raise a formal grievance in the middle of the disciplinary proceedings. The employee usually does this in an attempt to scupper the disciplinary procedure and buy themselves more time. The subject of the grievance may either be related to the disciplinary or completely unrelated, so what should you do?
The Acas guide provides some useful guidance and good practice guidance has tended to be that the employer should put the disciplinary on hold. Good practice guidance has to an employer has always been to put the disciplinary on hold and hear the grievance.
In a case involving a bus driver Jinadu v Docklands Buses Ltd the Employment Appeal Tribunal rejected the employee’s argument that her dismissal was unfair because the employer had not halted disciplinary procedure to deal with the employee’s grievances. This case provides some clarity that the employer does not have to put disciplinary proceedings on hold. However, we would still advise that you examine the nature of the grievances. If the grievances is about the disciplinary procedure then there is no reason why it cannot be dealt with at the disciplinary hearing. If the grievance is unrelated then the grievances procedure could run at the same time as the disciplinary procedure.
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