Disciplinary Hearing

Before taking any formal disciplinary action against an employee, it’s crucial to follow a fair disciplinary process. A disciplinary hearing is a key element of this process. You must conduct the disciplinary hearing properly and in line with the relevant legal requirements. This ensures your employee fully understands the nature of your concerns and is given the opportunity to address them. Importantly, it also minimises the chances of them bringing a claim against you for unfair dismissal.

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

What Is A Disciplinary Hearing?

A disciplinary hearing, sometimes referred to as a disciplinary meeting, is a meeting between you as the employer, and an employee to address concerns relating to their conduct or capabilities. As the employer, you are responsible for organising and conducting the hearing, and ensuring it progresses fairly.

When Should You Hold A Disciplinary Hearing?

A disciplinary hearing should be part of a wider disciplinary process. This process is the series of steps an employer must take when dealing with disciplinary issues, from the initial investigations to making a final decision. You must record your organisation’s disciplinary process in writing and ensure it is available to all staff. With this in mind, most businesses include their disciplinary procedures in their contracts of employment.

When preparing your disciplinary process, you must have regard to the provisions of the ACAS Code of Practice: Disciplinary and Grievance Procedures. The Code sets out a series of stages that employers should go through when dealing with a disciplinary issue. One such stage is holding disciplinary hearing.

Generally speaking, the steps you should take in connection with a disciplinary matter are as follows;

  • Look into the facts of the matter.
  • Hold a meeting with the employee to establish the facts if necessary.
  • Formally notify the employee of the issue in writing.
  • Hold a disciplinary hearing.
  • Decide the outcome of the disciplinary hearing.
  • Hear any appeal brought by the employee.
  • Make and implement your final decision.

What Sort Of Issues Warrant A Disciplinary Hearing?

According to the ACAS Code, an employer may choose to follow a disciplinary procedure when faced with misconduct or problems with an employee’s performance.

Misconduct issues arise when an employee behaves in an unacceptable or improper manner. The types of behaviour that may constitute misconduct include the following:

  • Bullying
  • Persistent lateness or absence
  • Harassment
  • Insubordination

Performance issues relate to an employee’s ability to do their job. They may consistently miss targets or produce low quality work.

How Should You Conduct A Disciplinary Hearing?

You should hold the disciplinary hearing as soon as possible after concluding your investigations into the issue. However, you should ensure the employee has sufficient time to prepare their case. To assist them in doing so, before the meeting, you should provide them with the following information:

  • Details of the issue under investigation.
  • The evidence you have collated.
  • The date, time, and venue of the disciplinary hearing by a colleague, trade union representative, or an official employed by a trade union.
  • Details relating to their right to be accompanied to the meeting
  • The possible outcomes.

The purpose of a disciplinary hearing is for both you and your employee to present your cases and understand each other’s positions. To that end, you should clearly explain the employee’s alleged misconduct or poor performance and take them through the evidence. It’s essential to give the employee the opportunity to answer any allegations against them and present their case, including any evidence they have gathered to support their position. You should encourage them to ask questions and foster a constructive discussion, ensuring your employee feels involved in the process and that their voice is being heard.

Someone from within your organisation should take detailed notes throughout the meeting, so there can be no doubt about what was discussed.

What Should You Do After A Disciplinary Hearing?

At the end of the meeting, you should explain to your employee what will happen next and give them a timeframe within which you will decide the outcome. You should take some time to consider the matter, but not keep your employee waiting too long. When reaching your decision, you should have regard for the information and evidence gathered during your investigations and the disciplinary hearing, what would be fair and reasonable in the circumstances, and how your organisation has dealt with similar issues in the past. You should inform your employee of your decision in writing, by letter or email. At the same time, you should offer your employee a right of appeal if they believe the outcome is too severe or that your handling of the matter was unfair.

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

Disciplinary Hearing

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