Disciplinary, Dismissal & Grievance Procedures

Guidance for employers

When procedures do not apply

There are some circumstances where the law recognises it isn’t practical to expect an employer to go through the procedures before dismissing employees or taking disciplinary action. These are:

  • Collective issues, where discussion between management and employee representatives is the appropriate way of taking matters forward. For example, when an employer dismisses a whole group of staff and immediately offers them re-employment on different terms.
  • When employees are dismissed for taking industrial action (in the case of lawful, officially-organised action, special arrangements apply).
  • When it is not possible for employment to continue, for example when a factory burns down.
  • When one party behaves in such a violent or unreasonable manner that the other party could not be expected to sit down with them and go through the procedures. You should note that the fact that an employee is behaving unpleasantly and causing you stress and anxiety
    will not normally be taken as a reason for doing without the procedures. This exemption is to cover cases in which people have real reason to fear violence, harassment or vandalism if the procedures are gone through.
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