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.
Katie Barnes-Monaghan, employment law editor
Updated to reflect changes to the rules on written statements, with effect from 6 April 2020.
Updated to take into account an increase in the cap on a week's pay, with effect from 6 April 2020.
Nick Chronias discusses the right to suspend employees pending a disciplinary investigation, including the issues to consider before, during and after a suspension.
In Harrison v Barking, Havering and Redbridge University Hospitals NHS Trust, the High Court granted an interim injunction to allow a suspended employee to return to the majority of her normal duties because there was no justification to restrict such duties.
In Hall v Weightmans LLP, an employment tribunal found that the employee's dismissal for excessive internet use discovered during a disciplinary investigation was fair and that the appeal procedure followed was "textbook".
Should the same punishment be handed down to everyone when there are multiple culprits? Can an expired warning be taken into account? Can a disciplinary sanction be increased on appeal? We discuss some common dilemmas for employers when deciding on disciplinary penalties.
As always, HR professionals have had their fair share of employment law cases to keep track of in 2019. We count down the 10 most important judgments of the year that every employer should know about.
Updated to take into account the extension of the SMR and CR to all FCA-authorised firms on 9 December 2019.
We are joined by Max Winthrop to go through the steps that employers need to take to ensure fair and robust disciplinary and grievance procedures.
Although a recent Court of Appeal decision concerning suspension in relation to safeguarding concerns provides an element of reassurance for employers, consultant editor Darren Newman explains why suspension should still be used only sparingly.
HR and legal information and guidance relating to discipline.