Editor's message: You can help avoid disciplinary issues arising in your organisation by having in place clear conduct rules setting out the standards expected of employees and the consequences of unacceptable conduct.
Having a fair disciplinary procedure is essential for dealing effectively with any employee misconduct, while minimising the risk of successful tribunal claims. It is important that you train all line managers on your organisation’s disciplinary policies and procedures. In particular, managers with responsibility for carrying out investigations and holding disciplinary hearings should understand which issues - in the event of a claim - an employment tribunal will consider when deciding if a disciplinary process was fair.
While there is no statutory disciplinary procedure, case law and the “Acas code of practice on disciplinary and grievance procedures” set out basic principles that must be followed.
Zeba Sayed, employment law editor
With the reports of historical sexual harassment in Hollywood and now Parliament, employees may feel increasingly able to come forward with such claims in the workplace. Will Clift, solicitor at Winckworth Sherwood, looks at how HR should handle them and the legal grounds for allegations of historical sexual harassment.
Updated to include information on Agoreyo v London Borough of Lambeth, in which the High Court held that the suspension of a teacher was in breach of the implied term of trust and confidence.
We look at a recent High Court decision concerning the suspension of an employee, and offer practical advice on the approach employers should take towards suspension.
Enhanced to include a new section on recording of meetings during the disciplinary process.
Employers are increasingly encountering employees covertly recording disciplinary and grievance meetings. In this week's podcast, we discuss how an employer should deal with this.
In this week's podcast, we explain what HR should do when faced with some tricky scenarios related to the right to be accompanied at disciplinary hearings. The seven scenarios discussed include a worker requesting a companion with a history of disruptive behaviour, and a worker asking for a postponement at the last minute to find a companion.
An employment tribunal has held that the employer breached the claimant's right to be accompanied when it refused to allow his chosen companions, trade union representatives, to accompany him at a disciplinary appeal hearing. However, it awarded compensation of £2 only, on the basis that the employer had understandable reasons for the refusal.
The Court of Appeal has held that the employer was not required to match each category of gross misconduct to each allegation and that how the conduct was eventually categorised was a matter for the decision-maker after all the evidence had been adduced.
In Khan v Stripestar Ltd EAT/0022/15, the EAT held that an employment tribunal was entitled to find that a dismissal was fair despite a wholly defective and unfair initial disciplinary hearing, because the subsequent internal appeal cured the defects earlier in the process.
We run through what employers need to bear in mind when dealing with an employee who uses racist language in the workplace.
HR and legal information and guidance relating to discipline.