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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
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.
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.
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.
- Letter From Employee
You should first receive a letter from the employee which explains the details of their grievance.
- 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.
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.
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.
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.
Why choose Harper James? Our disciplinary & grievance solicitors’ experience
Our solicitors are all recruited from top 100 UK law firms or from large international businesses, and all have more than 10 years post-qualifying experience. They’re based across the UK, and work remotely, so provide easy access to businesses needing disciplinary and grievance legal advice on a national basis.
Employment Law Partner
Simon acts for employers of all sizes, particularly tech and manufacturing, and specialises in managing people matters, including TUPE, sales and acquisitions of companies, and restructures/redundancies.View profile
Employment Law Solicitor
Sean previously worked for a leading national law firm in the employment team, ranked tier 1 in the Legal 500. He advises employers on all aspects of employment law from TUPE to tribunals.View profile
Employment Law Solicitor
Previously a director in top 50 national firm Shakespeare Martineau, Alan specialises in restraint of trade issues, TUPE, shareholder and disputes at board level.View profile
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