Does an employer risk a tribunal claim if it suspends an employee pending the outcome of a disciplinary investigation?
When an employee who is subject to disciplinary proceedings raises a grievance, must the employer put the disciplinary proceedings on hold?
If an employer wishes to suspend an employee during a disciplinary investigation, must it have a contractual power allowing it to do so?
For how long should an employee be suspended while a disciplinary investigation into alleged misconduct is carried out?
Must an employee on suspension while a disciplinary investigation is carried out remain available for work, or can he or she take a holiday during this period?
If an employee is suspended on full pay during a disciplinary investigation, can he or she insist that the employer communicate through his or her representative?
Should an employee be allowed access to the workplace and colleagues during his or her suspension while a disciplinary investigation is carried out?
How can an employee challenge a decision to suspend him or her pending the outcome of a disciplinary investigation?
Will an employee’s continuous service be affected by his or her suspension while a disciplinary investigation is carried out?
Will it always be necessary to hold an investigatory meeting with an employee suspected of misconduct?
Who should carry out a disciplinary investigation?
Who should carry out an investigatory meeting with an employee suspected of misconduct?
If an employee's misconduct is the subject of a criminal investigation, can the employer continue internal disciplinary proceedings?
If an employee is charged with, or convicted of, a work-related criminal offence, should the employer conduct its own investigation before taking disciplinary action?
Do employees have the right to be accompanied at disciplinary investigation meetings?
Where, following an investigation, the employer concludes that no disciplinary action is necessary, what should it do with the information gathered during the investigation?
What should the employer do if new evidence emerges after the conclusion of a disciplinary investigation, before the disciplinary procedure has been completed?
Where an employer suspects that an employee is working under the influence of alcohol, what action can it take?
Can an employee who is a witness to an incident be obliged to provide a witness statement?
Can an employer anonymise witness statements obtained during a grievance or disciplinary procedure?
There is no legal requirement for an employer to postpone disciplinary proceedings when the employee who is subject to those proceedings raises a grievance. In many circumstances it will be appropriate for the employer to deal with the grievance as part of the disciplinary proceedings, particularly where the two are related (for example, if the employee is complaining about how the employer is handling the disciplinary procedure, or has a grievance that amounts to a defence to the disciplinary allegations).
The employer should allow the employee to set out the grounds for his or her grievance at a meeting during the disciplinary process, and should investigate and address the grievance concurrently with the disciplinary issue. If necessary, the employer can continue the grievance proceedings after the disciplinary procedure has been concluded, if there are issues that remain outstanding.
If the grievance is unrelated to the disciplinary, it may be more appropriate for the employer to deal with it separately. There will usually be no need for the employer to postpone the disciplinary procedure, unless the substance of the employee’s grievance is so serious and credible as to make it unreasonable to continue with the disciplinary process.
Employers should keep in mind the principles of the Acas code of practice on disciplinary and grievance procedures (PDF format, 1.58MB) (on the Acas website), including that discipline and grievances should be dealt with promptly and without unreasonable delay.
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