Disciplinary Procedure

These information sheets have been provided as a guide only and should not be used as substitutes for specialist advice. We try to keep them updated, however, this cannot always be guaranteed.

Clear disciplinary rules benefit both the employer and the employee and should be a main part of the written statement of employment.

They should cover such things as:

  • conduct
  • timekeeping
  • absence
  • health and safety
  • use of employer's telephone and other equipment
  • discrimination
  • performance and behaviour

To ensure that your written statement covers this area adequately, speak to your Independent Living Advisor, or check the ACAS web site www.acas.org.uk

There is no longer a statutory disciplinary procedure, but you should follow a previously written down procedure to deal with staff disciplinary issues. This should include:

  • written notification of the problem
  • meeting to address the problem, at which the employee can be accompanied
  • written notice of the decision as below
  • an opportunity to appeal

We would advise you to seek advice and guidance before and during any disciplinary procedure, speak to your Independent Living Advisor, ACAS 0845 7474747, you may also have legal advice available under your Employers Liability Insurance, if so ensure you speak to them.

Before taking the statutory procedure you are advised to try to settle the matter informally, for example by discussing issues with the employee. If this is not successful a verbal warning should be issued clearly stating that the disciplinary procedure will be followed if behaviour or performance is not improved.

The meeting should be followed up with a letter clearly stating the problem, the improvement expected, the timescale and the consequence if improvement is not met. You must inform the employee of their right to appeal.

It is normally advisable to have two written warnings before following the disciplinary procedure to dismissal, unless there is an instance of gross misconduct.

The employer must be seen to act reasonably throughout and the policy must not discriminate.

You may wish to suspend an employee on full pay whilst the disciplinary procedure takes place. Take care to make sure you have enough money to also employ a replacement if you need to do this.