When an employee faces a disciplinary hearing, you need to make sure the correct steps are taken throughout the entire process.
Before interviewing any employee, having the right disciplinary hearing questions available is vital.
Some questions might cover the incident on a whole; and some might be more specific to individual events. But on the whole, you need a suitable and thorough list of questions.
Failing to apply a legally correct disciplinary procedure means you could pass an unfair or wrongful dismissal. Which can lead to financial penalties, court hearings, and further business consequences.
In this guide, discover what questions to ask in a disciplinary hearing, the laws behind them, and how to follow a correct disciplinary procedure.
What are disciplinary hearing questions?
These are questions to ask a witness in a disciplinary hearing. The main aim for them is to establish how a breach was made in the workplace. Answers provided by the accused party will be used to build an account for the case.
Disciplinary investigation meeting questions can sometimes be provided prior to the time of the hearing. This is so the employee (and their representatives) has sufficient time to collate their account.
Within employment law, there aren’t set disciplinary hearing legal questions you must follow.
However, the ACAS Code of Practice outlines standard guidelines for managing disciplinary issues in the workplace. The Code doesn’t provide a list hearing questions, but rather guidelines to follow.
In the end, you need to follow the correct process for disciplinary regulations. And remember, under the Human Rights Act, everyone is entitled to the right to a fair hearing.
What types of disciplinary meeting questions should I ask?
When you decide to hold a disciplinary meeting, the questions you ask should be straightforward and relevant to the case.
Try to ask more open-ended questions during the meeting. This will allow the accused employee a chance to present their defence and answer questions. You can ask more specialised or tailored questions for intricate information.
The type of disciplinary hearing questions you ask in the hearing will have a heavy part on the final decision.
Here are some disciplinary hearing question examples you can use:
- Do you know why this meeting is being held?
- Do you understand the accusation against you?
- Do you know the consequences for this type of misconduct/ misbehaviour?
- Do you understand the steps involved with the disciplinary procedure?
- Do you feel you’ve been given enough time to prepare for this meeting?
- Are you aware of your rights; like the right to be accompanied or appeal?
Another important question to ask the employee is if they thought the hearing was fair. It’s important to ask this for two reasons:
The employee agrees the hearing was fair
If they agree, that means it would go against any potential claims of an unfair or wrongful dismissal. The claim would be difficult to raise if both parties have agreed on prior terms and verdicts.
Also, most employees would possibly answer yes, in the hope that their cooperation might be noted.
The employee agrees the hearing was unfair
If they disagree, you should ask them for their reasons. You should take notes of any concerns they’ve raised and make reasonable amendments.
Make sure they are they’ve been able to provide their reasons fully. If so, it would be hard for them to raise a complaint regarding the hearing in the future.
How to conduct a disciplinary hearing procedure
There are many steps to consider before you start a disciplinary procedure.
Details on entire procedure, from start to finish, should be provided to your staff, though contracts and handbooks. And providing disciplinary hearing minutes so all parties have full written accounts for the meeting.
When an employee must face your disciplinary procedure, you can follow these steps:
- Investigate the allegation.
- Gather information, evidence, and accounts.
- Provide written notice on the disciplinary action.
- Send a written hearing invitation.
- Start the hearing and decide on verdict.
- Offer information on the appeals process.
As employers, it is vital that you follow a fair procedure for disciplinary and grievance cases.
From raising the initial case to applying disciplinary hearing questions and answers, you must show you’ve taken the correct legal methods.
Use ACAS’s Code of Practice for your disciplinary procedures and policies; and take note of the financial penalties for those who fail to comply.
Get expert guidance on disciplinary hearing questions
It doesn’t matter if a disciplinary case is small or big, once or regular – all cases need to follow the correct process.
Your staff need to fully understand the consequences for bad work-practice; and what disciplinary actions will follow.
But if you fail to adhere to the proper process, you could risk creating unfair dismissal – leading to tribunal claims and compensation payments.
Peninsula Business Services provides 24-hour HR advice and can help ensure you are compliant with your disciplinary policies and other actions.
Get in touch today; or use our callback form to arrange for us to get in touch at a time that is convenient for you. Call us on 0800 028 2420