Is an employee required to submit an appeal against a disciplinary decision in writing?

Most employers will specify in their disciplinary policy that an appeal against a disciplinary decision must be in writing. Paragraph 26 of the Acas code of practice on disciplinary and grievance procedures provides that employees should set out their grounds for appeal in writing. Employment tribunals have the power to increase or reduce compensation by up to 25% if either party has unreasonably failed to comply with the code. Therefore, if an employee subsequently brings legal proceedings, for example for unfair dismissal, his or her failure to put the appeal in writing could reduce the level of compensation that the tribunal awards.

Where an employee appeals verbally, the employer should request that the employee submit a written appeal and refer him or her to the decision letter (which should set out the process for appealing), the disciplinary policy and/or the Acas code. If the employee refuses to put his or her complaint in writing, the employer may decide to continue with the appeal process and attempt to address all the points raised verbally by the employee.