Disciplinary procedures for employees
No one wants to think about disciplinary matters but you need to
be fully aware of rules and the law. This guide talks you through
step-by-step how to handle the disciplinary procedure.
- Why it's legally important to have a clear disciplinary
- Implementing your disciplinary rules
- The process
- Unions and representatives
Why it's legally important to have a clear disciplinary
Employment law is strict and you must adhere to it. Long gone
are the days when you could handle disciplinary matters on your
own. Ignore the law and you could find yourself a tribunal being
sued for unfair dismissal and dishing out a lot of cash in
compensation. Familiarising yourself with the law and
disciplinary procedure will make it easier to follow should you
- Make sure you are aware of the employment law
- Ensure you are up to date with any amendments
Implementing your disciplinary rules
Setting out your disciplinary rules is just as important as
following the legal procedure. You need to make sure that employees
are aware of your specific rules as they may differ from previous
employers they've worked for. It covers both you and the
employee as it means you both know exactly what is expected of them
and why they would face disciplinary action should they break one
of these rules. You should set these out in your employer/employee
- Ensure your employee is aware of your disciplinary rules
- Make sure the rules are set out in the employee contract
It's essential you follow a formal three step process when
starting disciplinary action. If you miss one or fail to comply
with them all fully, an employee, whatever they have done wrong,
stand a good chance of winning at a tribunal.
- Firstly, you must send your employee a written letter stating
why you have decided to start the disciplinary process.
- The next step is a meeting with the employee to discuss the
reason you're taking disciplinary action against them. They are
legally allowed to attend the meeting with a representative from a
union or a colleague. The employee is allowed to answer any points
made against them. You must then explain your decision and tell the
employee they have a right to appeal.
- At the appeal, the employee is entitled to have a
representative present. It's also a good idea for you to have
someone with you representing your side. After the appeal is over
you then give your employee your final decision.
Unions and representatives
It's more than likely you'll come into contact with unions and
other employee representatives when handling a disciplinary
case. You must allow your employees to join a union and it's
in your best interest that you keep up to speed with what they do
and how they do it. Employee representatives are colleagues,
usually who have been nominated by their peers to represent the
workforce. In the absence of union representation, it is an
employee representative that will be present at any disciplinary
meeting. Make sure you employee representatives up to speed with
any changes to your disciplinary rules.
- Keep up to speed with union news
- Make sure any employee representatives are aware of changes to
your disciplinary rules.
Unless there is a very good reason, no one really wants to go
through the dismissal process. However, if you need to it's
essential you follow procedure to the letter to avoid any
repercussions. You will need to make sure you are fully aware of
how you pay notice period, when you can tell the employee to leave
and how to get company property back from them.
- Get up to speed with dismissal procedure
- Keep employees informed throughout the dismissal procedure
Smarta Business Builder
To help you on your business journey, we've created Smarta Business Builder, the complete online
tools package for growing your business. Website
Documents and Email - all in one place
- from just £20 per month with no contract! Try it out today.