A guide to disciplinary procedures

Workplace issues are part and parcel of running a business, whatever size you are. If you’re having a problem with one of your team, sometimes you might need to take more formal action and follow a disciplinary procedure to address unacceptable behaviour at work. Part of that process will involve sending an invite to disciplinary hearing.

A guide to disciplinary procedures

Workplace issues are part and parcel of running a business, whatever size you are. If you’re having a problem with one of your team, sometimes you might need to take more formal action and follow a disciplinary procedure to address unacceptable behaviour at work.

Unacceptable behaviour can mean a few different things, it might be to do with your employee’s conduct at work or their capability within their job role.

A disciplinary procedure should be set out in your employment contract or in your employee or company handbook, plus having a proper disciplinary policy with a well defined procedure is really important to help you manage the process properly, and it will hopefully steer you clear of any employment tribunal claims.

Before staring a disciplinary procedure, it’s also good to keep in mind that many issues can be dealt with informally, through a casual chat to sort out any miscommunication.

To understand more, we’ve put together a free handy guidance to disciplinary procedures that explains the necessary steps and documentation you’ll need to conduct one thoroughly. We recommend downloading it before using the template letters.

Whilst you are welcome to use the documentation as you see fit, we strongly recommend that you take specific legal advice from the team at Primed as to the appropriateness of the documentation that you intend to issue in your particular set of circumstances. We promise we are very friendly!

In the event that you do use the documentation without first taking our advice, we need to be clear that in those circumstances, no relationship is created between you and any of the Outset Group Companies.

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  • An employee who is due to attend a disciplinary hearing has now raised a grievance. Should we postpone the disciplinary hearing pending taking action with the grievance?

    There is no requirement for an employer to halt disciplinary proceedings in order to address an employee’s grievance.

     

    If the grievance is related to the disciplinary, then the issues can either be discussed at the disciplinary hearing (in the form of the employee’s mitigation), or a grievance hearing could be held immediately before or after the disciplinary hearing so that all points can be considered.

     

    If the latter, the invite to disciplinary and grievance can be outlined in the same invite letter, a template can be found in Primed Online under, Poor Performance & Misconduct, available free when you sign up to our 12 month free trial here.

     

    If the points of grievance are unrelated to the disciplinary hearing, then the grievance procedure can run concurrently with the disciplinary procedure.

  • An employee has failed to attend a disciplinary hearing without reason. What should we do?

    If an employee fails to attend a disciplinary hearing and the employee gives no satisfactory reason for non-attendance, e.g. sickness absence, the employer ought to reschedule the hearing at least once, to ensure the employee has had ample opportunity to attend.

     

    If the employee fails to attend the rescheduled disciplinary hearing then assuming the employee was warned that a decision could be made in their absence; the manager could make a decision in the employee’s absence based on the information that is available. In such cases, it is recommended that prior warning is given to the employee that this may happen.

     

    Given that much will depend on the precise facts, expert advice is advisable before deciding to proceed in the employee’s absence.

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