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
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.
Updated to include information on Governing Body of Tywyn Primary School v Aplin, in which the EAT considered whether or not an appeal affirms a contract of employment.
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.
Updated to take into account an increase in the cap on a week's pay, with effect from 6 April 2019.
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.
In London Borough of Lambeth v Agoreyo, the Court of Appeal held that the proper test for the courts for deciding if an employee's suspension breached the implied term of trust and confidence is whether or not the employer's decision to suspend was a "reasonable and proper" response to the allegations.
In February 2019, Acas made changes to its guide on discipline and grievances, which complements the "Acas code of practice on disciplinary and grievance procedures". We set out the key updates, in particular the amended guidance on workers seeking to postpone a disciplinary hearing because their preferred companion is unavailable.
With the Court of Appeal due to hear the appeal against the High Court decision in Agoreyo that the suspension of a teacher was a repudiatory breach of contract, consultant editor Darren Newman looks at the issue of suspension when it relates to safeguarding concerns.
HR and legal information and guidance relating to discipline.