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The law doesn’t say exactly how you should investigate disciplinary issues or hold disciplinary meetings.
However, the Acas guide to discipline and grievances at work has lots of practical advice about running disciplinary proceedings professionally and fairly.
The suggested disciplinary process
The Acas guidance suggests that your disciplinary process should follow the following format:
A letter telling your employee the issue and inviting them to a disciplinary hearing.
A meeting with your employee to discuss the issue – they should have the right to be accompanied.
A letter to your employee saying what action you are going to take. This should be sent as soon as practically possible.
Your employee should than have a chance to appeal your decision.
Disciplinary decisions could be anything that could resolve the problem.
This could include:
mediation with a co-worker
An employee has the right to appeal against a decision made after a disciplinary hearing.
You should tell them about this when you give them written notice of your decision, and should give them a deadline to tell you they want to appeal.
Your employee’s statement of terms and conditions of employment must legally include the person they can apply to if they want to appeal a disciplinary decision. It must also explain how to do this.
If the employee does decide to appeal, you should try to hold the appeal hearing as soon as possible.
You should follow the Acas code of practice on disciplinary and grievance procedures’ when dealing with appeals. Otherwise, if someone wins an employment tribunal against you their award could be higher.