All organisations need to set standards for conduct at work. Many minor issues of misconduct can be dealt with on an informal basis, but companies sometimes struggle when matters become more serious.
James House HR can help with all aspects of managing discipline in the workplace. You can telephone or email us for free initial advice. We provide advice on disciplinary rules and procedures that is specific to your particular organization. We don’t work from computer prompts; all of our advice is a based on sound knowledge of employment law and extensive practical experience.
In the event that you need to enter into formal disciplinary proceedings, we can handle every aspect of the process from the initial investigation, drafting bespoke “invitation to disciplinary hearing” letters. James House HR specialises in offering a “hands-on” service where we attend the disciplinary hearing in person so you don’t have to worry about saying the wrong thing or missing out an all important step.
We advise on disciplinary investigations and suitable penalties. Where some form of formal action is needed, what action is reasonable will depend on all the circumstances of the particular case. With our extensive experience in handling disciplinary matters, we will advise on a penalty that is suitable in the circumstances. Where the penalty is dismissal, we will ensure that this is managed in such a way that there will be few problems should the matter proceed to Employment Tribunal.
Frequently Asked Questions
Are employees entitled to be represented?
During the investigation stage, employees are NOT entitled to be represented, so you may ask them to produce statements and answer investigation questions without being accompanied. During the disciplinary hearing, the employee may be represented by either a work colleague or a union official only. Legal representatives, relatives and friends are not permitted except in a few, very limited, circumstances.
Who should carry out disciplinary procedures?
Ideally, the manager carrying out the investigation into the issue should be different to the manager of the disciplinary hearing. James House HR can attend in person to guide you through any stage ensuring that you don’t miss out on important steps.
What paperwork do I need for a formal disciplinary hearing?
You should ensure that all stages of both the investigation and the disciplinary hearing are well supported by accurate documentation. You will need to obtain statements and other documentary evidence for the investigation, a letter inviting the employee to the hearing (giving appropriate notice), a letter informing the employee of the outcome of the hearing including any penalty and minutes of all meetings. James House HR can provide you with all of the documents that you will need.
Can the employee appeal against a disciplinary penalty?
If the employee has been issued with any level of warning, or has been dismissed, they must be given the right of appeal. Ideally, the appeal should be heard by a manager who was not conversant with the original case. James House HR can provide with specific guidance in respect of disciplinary appeals and if required, attend the appeal in person.
What are the common mistakes that employers make when dealing with disciplinary matters?
When dealing with HR matters is not your area of expertise, it is easy to make costly mistakes. Jumping to conclusions can lead to important steps being missed out. Employers cannot simply “issue” a disciplinary warning – there is a process to go through on every occasion.
For advice on disciplinary rules and procedures or any aspect of managing disciplinary and dismissal matters, please call us for no-obligation advice.