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Creator of training course Lauren Clarke HR Advisor


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  • Set out the law and best practice on running disciplinary procedures.
  • Identify the best preparation for a hearing.
  • Provide guidance on conducting a disciplinary hearing.

Why have a Disciplinary Procedure?

Provides clear guidance on expectations.

Ensures consistency throughout the organisation.

Promotes fairness & equality.

Ensures compliance with ACAS & UK Legislation.

Protect employees & employers.

Imposes sanctions as a deterrent.

Resolves concerns constructively.

Implement improvements.

Informs an employee that their behaviour is unacceptable or inappropriate.

Listens to mitigation or explanatory information.

What Does the law say?

An Employment Tribunal will consider if the employee went through the appeals process when examining their case.

The law states that where a disciplinary procedure is present it must be followed, failure to do so could automatically mean that the employee has been unfairly dismissed.

Best practice

  • Establish and maintain standards of acceptable conduct and work performance.

  • Consistently uphold these standards, as much as possible – without fear or favour.

  • Ensure all staff know exactly what is expected of them.

  • Ensure all staff are trained and retrained.

Types of Actions


informal Action

Informal action is used where the act of misconduct is not serious and has a limited impact on the business, for example, poor timekeeping or lateness.

To improve performance, behaviour or attitude.

One to one conversation conducted in a non-aggressive, non threatening way.

Your aim is to listen and understand the cause of the issue & how you can help the employee to remedy – is training, shadowing or coaching required?

Use a private room where there will be no interruptions.

Two way discussion to establish the reasons for the issue and how it can be solved.

No need to be represented.

Record the dialogue and ensure records are kept.

Decide if further action necessary - if action is needed, record this and note timescales, ensuring all parties are clear and review.

Informal action is a deterrent – it is hoped that by taking an informal approach, speaking to the employee and providing them with a letter of concern that they will not act in this way in the future. If they do, then formal action can take place.

formal Action

i.e. whether there is reasonable belief from the evidence gathered or on a balance of probability that it's likely the incident occurred after "whether there is a case to answer".


Inviting the employee to a formal hearing to discuss allegations applying a suitable sanction where appropriate.

Appeal hearing:

Where the employee can set out their disagreement with a disciplinary outcome by stating their reasons, or introducing additional information in their defence.

Disciplinary hearing:

Formal action - Misconduct vs Gross Misconduct

Whether misconduct falls into a level will depend on the facts of the case, and the seriousness of the rule breach as deemed by the organisation.



Acts which result in a serious breach of contractual terms and conditions.

FOrmal warning

'Ordinary' misconduct

serious misconduct

single act

accumulation of these things


Misconduct vs Gross Misconduct Process

Misconduct Process

Gross Misconduct Process

Misconduct Process

Who has the authority?

Senior Manager (NP Grade 13+)

First line manager

Who can aCCOMPANY An individual to a meeting?

  • A colleague.

  • A workplace trade union representative who's certified by their union to act as a companion.

  • An official employed by a trade union.

Right to be aCCOMPANIed

Support the employee.

The individual cannot speak on behalf of the employee.

Suggest follow up actions.

Ask questions.

Ensure fairness and proper procedure is followed.

Take notes for employee.

Ensure employee states their case fully.

Why follow the procedure?


Was the reason for dismissal a potentially fair one?


Has the employer acted reasonably in the circumstances?


Was a fair, equitable and reasonable procedure followed?


In an unfair dismissal claim, the employment tribunal will be interested in 3 things:

Was the procedure carried out in a clear and transparent manner?

Have you followed your contractual procedures?

Have you followed a fair procedure that has been applied consistently?

Is your process and outcome proportionate to the offence?

Disciplinary Hearing Process


Holding a Disciplinary Hearing – Introduction

Holding a Disciplinary Hearing – Fact Finding

Holding a Disciplinary Hearing – Summary


Employee Assistance Programme

Mental Health First Aider

Mental Health First Aiders are not trained to be therapists or psychiatrists, but they can offer initial support through non-judgemental listening and guidance.

Health Shield is dedicated to helping keep employees & businesses in the best of health, with a range of innovative health & wellbeing solutions.24/7 Counselling & Support Helpline 0800 028 1963

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