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Hearings (Disciplinary Hearings) »

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Things to Remember

  • Investigate;is there a case to answer;do you need to suspend on full pay
  • Strike while the iron is hot;get statements from witnesses
  • Gather prime documents and records before they can be tampered with
  • Share the evidence with the accused
  • Paper trail;letter to confirm next steps with all the detail and evidence
  • Give the employee in the frame time to prepare for the disciplinary hearing
  • Be accompanied by  a company notetaker for the purpose of making a contemporaneous record of the meeting;get the employee to sign the notes before leaving;NO TAPE RECORDING
  • Listen to mitigating circumstances
  • Adjourn if there is new evidence to consider
  • Adjourn to consider the case/evidence;if the outcome could be dismissal…..Sleep on it
  • Confirm the decision in writing with a right of appeal
  • If not dismissal,confirm the life of the sanction and what may happen if there is further misconduct of unsatisfactory performance
  • If it is a final warning confirm that any further misconduct or unsatisfactory performance may lead to dismissal.remember it is not common sense that this will be the next outcome

Occasions will arise where an employee’s conduct does not reach the standards expected by the employer and outlined in the employee’s contract of employment or employee handbook. Employers should have a clear set of  procedures in place explaining what steps will be implemented should this situation arise. These include oral warnings, first written warnings, final written warnings,first and final written warnings and dismissal.Summary dismissal with no notice for gross misconduct,dismissal with notice for repeated misconduct or downgrading as an alternative to dismissal other than in cases of gross misconduct or a period of suspension without pay for repeated misconduct if your handbook allows.

In some serious cases of misconduct following an investigation relating to the matter in hand, it may be necessary to hold a disciplinary hearing. The employee should be given details in writing of the issue in advance of the hearing so they can prepare their case. At the hearing the employee has the right to state their case. They are also entitled to be accompanied by a fellow employee or trade union representative.

For information about our Employee Handbook advice service, please visit our business service page.

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