09 June 2021
When a conduct issue occurs, you will need to follow a comprehensive disciplinary procedure. While every business is different, and each conduct issue needs to be addressed based on the facts, having a solid disciplinary and procedure template can help you mitigate the risks.
If a business doesn’t follow a fair procedure, you can find yourself at risk of unfair dismissal claims or constructive dismissal.
Below, we’ll provide you with a summary of what you should include in your policies, as well as a free template you can use.
Disciplinary policies and procedures in the workplace
It is important to have disciplinary and grievance procedures and policy outlined clearly in company documents.
While it is not a legal requirement to have these, there are many procedures that you need to follow when tackling disciplinary issues. So having written policy and procedure can protect the company from liability.
Let’s look at what you should include in the policy and procedure below.
Having a disciplinary policy in place is important, as it sets out your company’s position on issues regarding conduct, misconduct, and the consequences of failing to meet your standards.
It will ensure you are fair and consistent. It also helps set out which behaviours are acceptable and highlight what you expect of your staff.
The repercussions for not adhering to the policies should be made clear to all who read the policy.
The content of your disciplinary policy depends on several factors. However, two things it should always address are:
- Formal and informal warnings.
- Disciplinary meetings and actions.
Remind employees of their right to have someone accompany them to the hearing. They also have the right to appeal following your decision.
Finally, it’s important to make sure your policies are easily accessible. Include it on your staff handbook and a company internet, if available.
Your policy is one half of the picture. You may already have a process that you follow when dealing with disciplinaries. However, if you don’t write it down, you may encounter significant issues, particularly if you need to conduct an investigation.
State the reason for investigating. The purpose behind this is to:
- Decide if there’s a case in the first place.
- Ensure a consistent and fair process.
- Gather evidence from all parties involved in the disciplinary proceeding.
- Help you decide on the appropriate next step.
Following this, you need to decide if there is a case. If there is, send a disciplinary letter informing the employee about your concerns.
The letter should include details of the allegations against the employee(s) and information about the next step of the process. You can find a sample of this type of letter here.
The reason for the disciplinary hearing is to determine if you’ll take official disciplinary action. You shouldn’t consider this prior to the meeting.
If, after you have held the meeting, you decide disciplinary action is necessary, inform the employee of this in writing.
You should also ensure that they are aware they can appeal the decision and you should inform them how to do that.
If, after you have held the meeting, you discover additional evidence, be sure to investigate this and postpone any decision until you have fully investigated this and addressed it in another meeting.
Disciplinary procedure policy template
If you’re struggling to draft your policy, we’re here to help. The below disciplinary policy and procedure template for UK businesses covers three key aspects:
- Investigation Meeting
The scope section details when the disciplinary process is necessary. The process section details the key points of the procedure. The investigation meeting section details the rules around attending and conducting a disciplinary meeting with the employee.
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