Disciplinary Procedures

We all need rules and standards, and the disciplinary procedure is the formal way to enforce those.

Disciplinary situations may include conduct i.e. where someone does not follow the rules or behave in an inappropriate way; and / or performance (often called capability) i.e. where an employee is not performing in their job role to the required standard.

Legal Requirement

In all cases there are clear procedures that must be followed, and it is a legal requirement to have a written disciplinary procedure. 

Taking formal disciplinary action can be one of the hardest and most stressful things to do. As well as being emotionally draining, it will take up valuable management time and there are clear procedures that must be followed.  The majority of claims to employment tribunals are for unfair dismissal and the majority of claims that are lost are because the right procedure was NOT followed.

Address Issues

Because of the time and procedures involved, many organisations don’t address issues. They hope they will go away! This can be even more problematic as matters can escalate, and frustrations grow. It can have an impact on other employees and indeed the whole business!

There are steps you can take to try to avoid disciplinary situations arising in the first place and strategies to try to resolve any matters informally first (see Avoiding Disciplinary Action below).

However, there will be times when this is not possible or appropriate and you will need to take formal disciplinary action and follow your disciplinary procedure.

Next Steps and Further Reading

The guidance and template letters and policy documents on YourHR.guide to help you to prepare and manage all areas of a disciplinary.

You can sign up for a FREE account and get (limited) access to guidance and templates and receive email updates about changes in employment law as they happen. Just visit https://yourhr.guide/ (please note that some content is restricted to Premium members only).

1. Introduction to Disciplinary

2. Avoiding Disciplinary Action

2a. File Note for Improvement

3. The Disciplinary Procedure

4. Disciplinary Investigations

5. Holding the Meeting

6. The Appeal Process

7. Special Circumstances

8. Questions to Ask at the Beginning of Every Disciplinary Meeting

Templates & Downloads

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