Discipline, Grievance, Dismissals & Redundancies

Putting in place disciplinary and grievance procedures is essential.  The Acas Code of Practice gives a clear guideline on the paperwork required and the processes that must be completed. When setting up these procedures.

Disciplinary Procedures

It is advisable to take up legal aid when drawing up your own procedures. You will need to decide on the rules that are needed, punishment for offences, identify the different levels of severity and identify the types of behaviour that will be seen as gross misconduct, meriting instant dismissal. An employee must not be dismissed after one offence unless it is gross misconduct. All employees must have the procedures and rules clearly explained to them. Managers must be trained to ensure that they fully understand and comply with procedures.  Managers must discipline consistently, only after a thorough investigation of the events. Clear records of the event and any action taking should be kept in case they are needed at a later date. If an employer fails to comply with these guidelines, a dismissed employer will have very good grounds to file for unfair dismissal against you in an employment tribunal.

Grievances

As with disciplinary procedures, there should always be a clear and easy way for employees to voice the grievances and have them settled by mangers. The grievance procedure must also follow The Acas Code of Practice. Typically, the employee should put their grievance in writing so it can be thoroughly investigated.  The grievance should then be discussed in a staff meeting and all parties involved should be present. During the discussion, an action should be agreed that will resolve the grievance. If an employee is not satisfied with the action agreed upon, they have the right to appeal to another senior or manager that was not previously involved in the matter.

Dismissal & Redundancies

A dismissal is automatically unfair if it is for a number of reasons, including; whistleblowing, health and safety activities or other forms of illegal discrimination. Employees however can be dismissed fairly on the grounds of their conduct, their ability or qualification and on the basis of redundancy. If an employee claims that they are unfairly dismissed to an employment tribunal and are found to be in the right, the employer can expect to pay a substantial award to the dismissed employee for damages and compensation for financial loss.

Employees who are made redundant are not permitted to claim redundancy pay if they have had less than two years of service to the employer. To avoid any claims being made against an employer in an employment tribunal, it is advisable to consult a legal expert to make sure that notice periods and adequate consultation has taken place.