Handling Grievance & Discipline Procedures

Holding a disciplinary hearing

When holding a disciplinary hearing:

  • introduce everyone present and explain why they’re there
  • explain that the reason for the hearing is to consider whether disciplinary action should be taken against the worker
  • explain how the hearing will be conducted
  • describe the exact nature of the complaint and go through the evidence
  • allow the worker to see any statements made by witnesses if they have not already seen them
  • give the worker a chance to state their case and to respond to any allegations made
  • ensure that you get all the facts relating to the complaint and take note of any special circumstances
  • summarise the main points made by both parties and highlight any issues that need to be investigated further
  • adjourn to consider your decision
  • reconvene to let the worker know of your decision and ensure that they’re clear about what’s likely to happen next

If it becomes clear during the hearing that the worker has a satisfactory explanation for their conduct/performance the hearing should be stopped and no further disciplinary action taken. The ACAS Handbook on Discipline and Grievances at Work suggests other situations where the hearing may be adjourned eg, if the worker is too distressed to continue or further investigation seems necessary.

Informing the worker of a disciplinary decision

Following a disciplinary hearing, you should inform the worker as soon as possible in writing of:

  • the result of the hearing – for more information on this see types of disciplinary action
  • the reasoning behind the decision
  • the consequences of repeating the offence and what specific improvement is required – if any
  • how long the warning is going to remain in force
  • the likely consequences of repetition of the misconduct
  • their right of appeal and how this should be done – for more information see appeals against disciplinary/grievance decisions.
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