Who should conduct a disciplinary meeting?

If, following a reasonable investigation, the employer decides that an employee has a disciplinary case to answer, it should hold a disciplinary meeting. The meeting should be conducted by a manager who has sufficient authority to make a disciplinary decision. The person who conducts the disciplinary meeting should be different to the person who carried out the investigation, unless this is not practicable (for example in a very small organisation where there is no one else suitable to conduct the meeting).

The meeting could be conducted by the employee's line manager, as long as he or she is not involved in the matters giving rise to the disciplinary process. For example, if the allegation against the employee is that he or she behaved abusively towards the line manager, it would be appropriate for a different manager to conduct the meeting.

When deciding who should conduct the meeting, the employer should ensure that it applies its disciplinary procedure.

The meeting could be conducted by one manager alone or there could be a panel of people making the disciplinary decision, in which case one of them should act as chair to conduct the meeting. This will depend on the employer's disciplinary procedure and/or custom and practice. A chair may hear the case with HR support and advice. It should be made clear to all involved in the meeting whether an HR panel member is present in an advisory capacity only, or as a joint decision-maker.