Disciplinaries and grievances present a range of challenges for both employers and employees and if not handled correctly can lead to a dispute between the parties. Bringing or defending a claim in the Employment Tribunal can be hampered by a failure to follow best practice during a disciplinary or grievance process. A failure to follow correct procedures can result in an uplift or reduction in compensation of up to 25% by the Employment Tribunal.
We work closely with our clients to provide practical and commercial advice on resolving grievance and disciplinary issues and where possible avoid a litigated dispute.
Each stage of the grievance process needs to be carefully managed
- initial complaint which must be in writing but which can include an email
- meetings must be arranged within a reasonable timeframe
- the employee must be offered the opportunity to bring a colleague or trade union representative with them
- the outcome must be decided by the employer and communicated in writing
- the employee must be offered the right of appeal.
Similarly the disciplinary process must include
- the conduct of a reasonable amount of investigation
- a formal invitation to a disciplinary meeting which attaches all relevant evidence, if it is decided that there is a case to answer
- a disciplinary hearing at which the employee’s views on the allegations can be fully heard
- the potential to suspend for a short amount of time, in the case of potential gross misconduct – full pay must usually be paid
- disciplinary sanctions appropriate to the allegations and often on full notice unless the allegations are of gross misconduct.