We recommend that your disciplinary policy / procedure contains clear guidance so that it can be used as a practical tool if you have to implement it, but at the same time avoids being too prescriptive.
If you need more guidance when implementing your procedure you can phone ACAS for free advice:08457 474747
We recommend that your disciplinary policy/procedure does not form part of the contract of employment.
If you want guidance on how to conduct a disciplinary meeting/hearing you can use PEACe’s clear check list guide. You can download it for free here: http://tinyurl.com/check-list-disciplinarymeeting
- Make sure that if you have a disciplinary procedure you follow it, so long as it complies with the ACAS Code of Practice. The Code contains the principles and steps in a fair disciplinary procedure.
- Employment tribunals will take the Code into account when considering an unfair dismissal case. You can familiarise yourself with the ACAS code of practice on disciplinary and grievance procedures by downloading it here: http://www.acas.org.uk/index.aspx?articleid=2174
- The principles are based on natural justice and consist of establishing the facts of the case; informing the employee of the basis of the problem; giving them an opportunity to put their case before making a decision; giving them the right to be accompanied at a formal disciplinary meeting and giving them the right to appeal against any formal decision.
- Go to p6/7 of the ACAS code of practice on disciplinary and grievance procedures on the link above to see who can accompany an employee at a formal disciplinary meeting and what the role of the companion is.
- Be clear as to whether you will deal with the issue as misconduct or poor performance. Your disciplinary policy/procedure should either cover both or else you should have a separate capability procedure to deal with someone’s ability to do the job. ACAS has produced a sample disciplinary procedure which covers both. You can find it on P55 of the ACAS Guide to discipline and grievance at work. This very long document complements the briefer code of practice. http://www.acas.org.uk/index.aspx?articleid=2179
- Be clear about when you have exhausted the informal stage of your procedure and when you are beginning the formal stage.
- You can download ACAS samples of letters for use during a disciplinary procedure by downloading the ACAS disciplinary documents http://www.acas.co.uk/index.aspx?articleid=1439
- You can familiarise yourself with the ACAS code of practice on disciplinary and grievance procedures by downloading it here: http://www.acas.org.uk/index.aspx?articleid=2174
- Free e-learning session although you will need to register: http://www.acas.org.uk/elearning/
- There are a few sample disciplinary policies you can download from NVCO HR document bank. We do not think that any sample policy can be adopted without tailoring it to your own organisation: http://www.ncvo-vol.org.uk/hrbank-policies#D.