Having an effective disciplinary and grievance procedure in place will help your business when it comes to dealing with employee issues in a fair and reasonable manner.
At Lupton Fawcett, our skilled and experienced lawyers will prepare and guide your business through any such issues, helping you secure the best possible outcome with minimal impact on your business.
With offices based in Leeds, Sheffield and York, we have a dedicated team ready to speak to you. To discuss a disciplinary and grievance issue within your business, simply call us on 0333 323 5292 or fill in our enquiry form and we will get back to you.
Disciplinary and Grievance Issues Explained
A disciplinary meeting is held between employee and employer to discuss issues such as:
- Health and safety
Before conducting a disciplinary hearing, your business must first have a process in place that covers preparing for the hearing and analysing the strengths and weaknesses of your businesses case.
Our solicitors are also on hand to offer advice and guidance in relation to appeals, employment tribunal claims and negotiating an exit or Settlement Agreement with an employee.
Providing expert and effective advice for employers around disciplinary and grievance procedures forms a core component of the work that is undertaken by our specialist employment law team, so you can be confident that you have the best possible team working with you.
If an employee raises a grievance with you and your business, it is vital that the complaint is dealt with in a fair and impartial manner.
Many grievances can be settled by an internal grievance hearing. However, the issues involved can sometimes be complex and/or difficult to deal with and that's where we can help. It's essential that grievances are dealt with quickly and effectively in order to prevent them from escalating and ultimately turning into costly and time consuming employment tribunal claims.
At Lupton Fawcett, our team of experienced employment solicitors are on hand to give you the guidance, support and assistance that you need to handle grievances properly and minimise the disruption that can be caused to your business.
Disciplinary and Grievance FAQs
How Should My Business Prepare for a Disciplinary Hearing?
Before you hold a disciplinary hearing with an employee, it is vital to gather all the evidence you may need to back up the statements you are making. This evidence can be in the form of sick notes, written statements, data from records (such as number of sick days taken), and so on.
It is also important to allow the employee to be accompanied by a work colleague or trade union representative of his or her own choosing.
What Process Should I Follow for the Disciplinary?
The agenda for a disciplinary hearing should loosely be based on the following series of events:
- The employer to present the allegations to the employee and talk through any associated evidence.
- The employee should then respond to the allegations, answer questions and explain their actions.
- After the hearing, the employer should decide whether disciplinary action should be taken and inform the employee of its decision.
- The employee should be given a right of appeal if disciplinary action has been taken.
What Counts As ‘Reasonable’ Behaviour?
The words ‘reasonable’ and ‘unreasonable’ are typically used when discussing an employee's behaviour. There are no strict guidelines as to what constitutes reasonable or unreasonable behaviour, and this is typically left up to the judgment of the employer.
When making this judgment, be sure to base your decision on rational, consistent and fair thinking. You should also make sure that you are familiar with any relevant policies, procedures and disciplinary rules together with the ACAS Code on Disciplinary and Grievance Procedures which will be taken into account by the employment tribunal when assessing the fairness of a dismissal.
Can I Take Disciplinary Action Against an Employee Who is Off Sick?
Employers can still take disciplinary action against an employee who is currently off work due to illness, but this should be done in a sensitive manner, particularly in cases where a serious illness or stress or work-related illness is involved.
If the matter is pressing and the employee is suffering from a serious illness, it may be possible to contact their GP and enquire as to when they are able to attend a meeting.
If the employee if suffering from a stress or work-related illness, you may ask them to attend the meeting in a neutral environment or at their home if they give their permission or alternatively to hold the meeting via a video call.
What If an Employee Raises a Grievance During a Disciplinary Hearing?
If an employee raises a grievance during a disciplinary, first and foremost, you should respond in a fair and impartial manner. Take care not to react in an emotive manner or to dismiss the employee's grievance out of hand (as this could lead to further grievances). In some cases and depending on the nature of the grievance it may be necessary to postpone the disciplinary hearing in order to enable the grievance to be investigated.
How We Can Help
The experienced employment law solicitors at Lupton Fawcett are able to offer advice and assistance to businesses who are faced with having to deal with a disciplinary hearing or grievance process. We appreciate and understand that businesses often need expert advice and support when dealing with disciplinary and/or grievance issues.
We work closely with businesses in order to assist them in identifying the key issues amongst their staff at an early stage, so that strategies can be formulated for dealing with them effectively.
Members of the team are able to advise on the level and types of investigations that need to be carried out, together with the evidential burdens that are likely to be encountered in terms of justifying a particular disciplinary, grievance or performance-related decision or outcome.
We will also work with you in order to make sure that you follow and adhere to the correct procedural steps and procedures. Additionally, we often draft documents and letters in order to ensure that your decisions are capable of standing up to close scrutiny.
Disciplinary, Grievance and Performance Management Training
We regularly provide employment law training to businesses and organisations and can tailor our courses to meet your individual needs and requirements. Get in touch to find out more about our employment law training services.
Call our offices today to speak to a member of the team or contact us using the details below. We are based in York, Sheffield and Leeds, allowing us to provide employment law advice to businesses in Yorkshire and further afield.
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