Disciplinary And Grievance Procedures

Your people are often your business’s most valuable asset, so it’s vital that you look after them and treat them fairly to facilitate staff recruitment and retention. Proper disciplinary and grievance procedures are an essential HR function. They ensure your workforce understands your stance on disciplinary issues and what you expect of them. They also provide management with a clear structure to address disciplinary matters and adopt a unified approach.

GAP HR has decades of experience assisting small businesses like yours to navigate complex employee issues. We offer a variety of HR packages to suit every business’s needs and budgets and can provide ad-hoc advice on issues such as disciplinaries and redundancies as required.

Call us now on 01491 598 600 or email us on  cw@gaphr.co.uk and we will be delighted to help you.

What are grievance and disciplinary procedures?

As their names suggest, disciplinary and grievance procedures are simply policies your organisation adopts when dealing with disciplinary and grievance issues.

Disciplinary issues relate to employee misconduct or poor performance. They are raised by you, the employer, against an employee. Grievance issues, on the other hand, are complaints raised by an employee to you, their employer.

Why are grievance and disciplinary procedures needed?

Both disciplinary and grievance procedures are essential employment policies.

Disciplinary procedures are required for the following reasons:

• To educate employees on what you expect from your staff in relation to conduct and performance.

• To inform employees of the potential consequences of failing to comply with the standards expected of them.

• To ensure your organisation approaches all disciplinary issues in a fair and unified manner.

• To provide a process through which disciplinary issues can be resolved without recourse to legal proceedings.

• To demonstrate to the tribunal that your policies are fair and that you followed them in the event an employee issues an unfair dismissal claim against you.

Grievance procedures are required for the following reasons:

• To ensure your employees know how to pursue complaints within your organisation.

• To provide details of the individual or individuals within your business to whom employees can complain.

• To reduce the risk of an employee seeking recourse from the tribunal.

What should you include in your disciplinary and grievance procedures?

The Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service, known to most as ACAS, has produced a helpful Code of Practice that details the steps an employer should take when dealing with disciplinary and grievance issues. By incorporating the provisions of the Code into your disciplinary and grievance procedures and following them whenever appropriate, you will significantly reduce the risk of being found liable for unfair dismissal.

However, ACAS acknowledges that the Code’s provisions may not be suitable in all cases, and what can be deemed ‘reasonable’ conduct on the part of an employer will depend to some extent on the size of the organisation and the resources at its disposal. The crucial requirement is that your disciplinary and grievance procedures are fair. Our specialist HR professionals can advise you on the measures that are appropriate to your business and assist you in developing legally compliant policies.

According to the Code, a business’s disciplinary and grievance procedures should include the following steps:

• You should begin by establishing the facts of the case. You can hold an investigatory meeting with the employee in question if necessary. Otherwise, you can simply gather evidence to determine the circumstances.

• If your investigations indicate a disciplinary case to answer, you must inform the employee in writing. Your letter should provide information and evidence relating to the alleged issue and specify when and where you propose holding the disciplinary hearing. You must also inform the employer of their right to be accompanied at the meeting.

If the matter is a grievance as opposed to a disciplinary, you should arrange a meeting as soon as possible after receiving the employee’s grievance. Your employee is entitled to be accompanied at the meeting if their grievance relates to alleged failings by you in your duties as their employer.

• At the meeting, whether relating to a disciplinary issue or a grievance, you should openly discuss the matter with the employee and go through any evidence you have gathered. You must give the employee a chance to answer any allegations against them, address any evidence you have gathered, and present their own evidence. You should take detailed notes of the meeting.

• After the meeting, you must come to a decision regarding what, if any, disciplinary action you consider justified in the circumstances. If the issue is a grievance, you should decide what action you will take in relation to it. You must notify the employee of your decision in writing.

• Your employee should be given an opportunity to appeal against your decision if they consider it wrong or unfair. Your disciplinary and grievance procedures should include an appeal hearing, which should ideally be conducted by someone within your organisation with no prior involvement in the matter. When you have decided the outcome of the appeal, you must communicate your decision to the employee in writing.

Call us now on 01491 598 600 or email us on  cw@gaphr.co.uk and we will be delighted to help you.

Disciplinary And Grievance Procedures

Have a Question? Get in touch below...

    If you are an employee and feel that you have been treated badly, then we strongly advise you to contact ACAS:

    Call the ACAS Helpline on 0300 123 1100 for free support and advice.

    Simply get in touch and they'll provide you with clear and confidential guidance about any kind of dispute or query that you have about relationship issues within the workplace.

    You may want to know about employment rights and rules, best practice or you may need advice about a dispute.

    Whatever it is, just give ACAS a call, their team are on hand to respond within the hours: Monday-Friday, 8am-8pm and Saturday, 9am-1pm.

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