Discipline & Grievance Procedures

Key facts: Discipline & grievance employer solicitors

  • Prevention is always better than cure: we can advise on your employment policies, processes, contracts and agreements to minimise the chances of employee grievances arising.
  • Our employment law solicitors always advise you to deal with a grievance or disciplinary issue sooner rather than later and while it’s never a nice thing to go through, sensitive intervention at an early stage usually leads to a more positive outcome for your business.
  • We act exclusively for businesses and employers – not for employees.
  • Our expert employment solicitors will provide you with clear and pragmatic advice throughout the procedure, making sure that any disciplinary process is legally compliant and follows the best HR practice.
  • We provide legal advice on disciplinary and grievance procedure to employers nationwide but we also have offices in Sheffield, Birmingham, Cambridge and London.

What we do: Disciplinary and grievance solicitors

As the owner of a business, there may come a time when you need to take disciplinary action against one of your employees, which is likely to be due to their misconduct or poor performance.

In addition, an employee may feel strongly enough to raise a grievance about a complaint they have.

We can advise you on how to best handle a disciplinary and grievance procedure to make sure you get the best outcome for your business, resolving the matter quickly, efficiently and sensitively.

Watch our video explaining more about a fair process for performance management of employees:

Grievance & disciplinary code of practice

Our employment law solicitors will advise you on compliance with the statutory The Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service (ACAS) Code of Practice on ‘Disciplinary & Grievance’ procedures.

Although failure to follow the code doesn’t breach your employees’ legal rights, it will be taken into account by an employment tribunal where relevant. Also, if your business is found not have ensured a fair and robust process in following the code, the tribunal can award an uplift in compensation.

Disciplinary procedures in the workplace

We’ve provided an outline of the ACAS code to follow for a disciplinary procedure below. These are provided as a guide only. For further information regarding each stage and the steps to take, we recommend speaking to our expert employment law solicitors.

  1. Establish The Facts
    You should carry out a reasonable investigation to make sure you get all the relevant facts about the issue(s). You can do this in a meeting with the employee, though this is not always required.
  2. Inform The Employee
    You should let the employee know in writing of your intention to start disciplinary proceedings against them, along with details of the issues you have, and invite them to attend a meeting.
  3. Meeting Between Yourself & The Employee
    You should discuss the issues raised in your letter to the employee. The employee has the right to be accompanied by a colleague or Trade Union representative.The independent third party may also provide ideas which neither party has considered to resolve the dispute.
  4. Outcome
    You may decide that a warning is the best outcome for the employee with no further action to be taken. However, if the issues are regarded as serious enough to warrant dismissal, then you must be clear in your letter to the employee about this and state the reasons for dismissal.
  5. Appeal
    Your employee has the right to appeal any decision taken. Should you receive an appeal, it should be heard by someone independent to the process to this point and preferably more senior than the original decision maker.

Grievance procedure

Our employment law solicitors advise you to deal with any grievance that’s raised informally at first. If this isn’t possible, then you should follow the grievance procedure as follows.

  1. Letter From Employee
    You should first receive a letter from the employee which explains the details of their grievance.
  2. Meet The Employee & Investigate Their Complaint
    You should meet with your employee to discuss the details of their grievance. Your employee has the right to be accompanied by a colleague or Trade Union representative. If the complaint requires further investigation, adjourn the meeting and resume after investigation has taken place.
  3. Decision
    You should aim to resolve any grievance that’s raised quickly and agree this in the meeting with your employee if possible. Once agreed, this should be recorded in writing.
  4. Appeals
    Just like a disciplinary procedure, your employee has the right to appeal any decision taken to deal with their grievance and where possible this should be handled by someone independent and more senior than the original decision maker.
  5. Outcome
    The outcome of an appeal should again be recorded in writing and shared with your employee.

Who we help: Employers of all sizes across the UK

As a full service commercial law firm, we provide legal advice on disciplinary and grievance matters to businesses and organisations of all sizes throughout the UK.

Our three transparent pricing packages are designed to give you the widest possible access to high-quality legal advice, whatever the size and nature of your business:

City

Straightforward access to senior solicitors from £200 per hour.

An affordable solution for businesses needing one-off legal support. Receive 'City' partner-level expertise at a fraction of 'City' prices.

Enterprise

Have legal peace of mind for £189 per month with additional support from £99 per hour.

A monthly subscription legal support package specifically designed for start-ups and smaller businesses.

On-Demand

For businesses requiring 60+ hours of support a year, with prices equivalent to £99 per hour.

Fully account managed quarterly subscription service for businesses with more complex legal needs.

What our clients say

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What next?

Please leave us your details and we’ll contact you to discuss your situation and legal requirements. There’s no charge for your initial consultation, and no obligation to instruct us. We aim to respond to all messages received within 24 hours.

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A national law firm

We mainly work remotely, so we can work with you wherever you are. But we can arrange face-to-face meeting at our offices or a location of your choosing.

Our commercial lawyers are based in or close to major cities across the UK, providing expert legal advice to clients both locally and nationally.

50-52 Newhall Street, Birmingham, B3 3RJ
Stirling House, Cambridge Innovation Park, Denny End Road, Waterbeach, Cambridge, CB25 9QE
10 Fitzroy Square, London, W1T 5HP
13th Floor, Piccadilly Plaza, Manchester, M1 4BT
Harwell Innovation Centre, 173 Curie Avenue, Harwell, Oxfordshire, OX11 0QG
2-5 Velocity Tower, 1 St Mary’s Square, Sheffield, S1 4LP

Our other locations

Immeuble Danica B, 21, avenue Georges Pompidou, Lyon Cedex 03, Lyon, 69486