What You Need to Know About Disciplinary Procedures
Having a clear disciplinary procedure in place from day one will help avoid costly legal action further down the line.
- Make sure all employees are aware of your disciplinary policy from the start. Tell each team member at least within two months of them starting about your disciplinary procedures and include details in any staff handbook.
- Ensure you have various procedures in place to deal with various levels of severity – for example, the disciplinary procedure for dealing with a performance issue will be different to that used to deal with misconduct.
- Don’t ignore issues that require disciplinary action – deal with performance and conduct issues as soon as they arise rather than waiting until the situation becomes critical.
- When carrying out any disciplinary action, ensure you follow the correct procedures set out in the ACAS code of practice. Should the disciplinary result in the employee taking action through a tribunal, the employer will need evidence these have been followed.
- You don’t have to put a team member with less than 24 months experience through the full disciplinary procedure in order to be dismissed – but it’s still worth seeking professional advice to ensure you are not in breach of employment law.
- In most dismissal situations, employees are entitled to notice either under the terms of their contract or a statutory notice depending on their length of service.
- Remember, you are not legally obliged to give a reference for an employee who has had their employment terminated – if you do, ensure it is a true and accurate, based on documented evidence.
- However, you are legally obliged to provide, in writing, reasons for dismissal, for an employee with two years’ continuous service within 14 days if requested.