From time to time serious misconduct or gross misconduct issues may arise in the workplace. It is important that an employer follows the ACAS code of practice and have a procedure inhouse that details how disciplinary situations will be handled. The procedure should be documented in the form of a disciplinary policy contained within the staff handbook.
Minor misconduct should be dealt with informally first to try and improve behaviour. However if things continue then you should move to a formal procedure. If the situation is very serious and is considered to be gross misconduct the employee should be suspended on full pay pending a full investigation.
The employee should be called to a disciplinary hearing having been sent an invite letter with evidence gained from an investigation and details of the allegations. At the hearing the employee should have the right to be accompanied by a trade union representative or fellow employee and be given every chance to explain their side of the story. The hearing should be documented ideally by a separate notetaker or HR representative.
Once the hearing has concluded, it should be adjourned whilst the chair considers all the evidence before then confirming the outcome in writing with the right to appeal.
If the chair decides that gross misconduct has been committed the employee is informed of summary dismissal in writing with the right to appeal. With summary dismissal the employee is dismissed instantly and is not provided with any notice pay. Holiday pay may be paid if that is outstanding.
It is important to fully document this process as the paper trail will be essential if the employee lodges an employment tribunal claim where the employer will need to show what they have done and how they have managed the process fairly.
If you have a disciplinary situation that occurs in your workplace that you feel you need advice and support with we can help. We can conduct an independent investigation and interview all the parties concerned producing witness statements. We can provide HR representation at a hearing taking notes and ensuring the documentation is in place. Alternatively we can chair a disciplinary meeting or an appeal.
If you need more details please call.