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Topic: Disciplinary, capability and dismissal

disciplinary proceedings checklist
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Disciplinary proceedings checklist


Disciplinary proceedings checklist

The Acas Code of Practice on Disciplinary and Grievance Procedures says that your disciplinary proceedings must be both fair and reasonable. Any failure to act in this way could result in a finding of unfair dismissal. However, there's quite a lot to remember during this process. Our disciplinary checklist covers all the important points.

Fair and reasonable

When it comes to disciplinary proceedings, there's a lot for employers to remember. Unfortunately, many of these areas could trip you up. The Acas Code of Practice on Disciplinary and Grievance Procedures says that all stages, right through from the initial investigation to any sanction imposed, must be fair and reasonable. If an employer fails to act in this way, they could easily be on the receiving end of an unfair or constructive dismissal claim.

But although the Code has been around for a while now, the tribunal hasn't dealt with that many cases under it. However, there's one thing that has come out of the ones it's heard: there must be impartiality in the decision making process. This means that a manager involved in an investigation shouldn't play any part in the disciplinary hearing, the assessment of the facts or the decision to impose a disciplinary sanction. Where this happens it will undermine the sanction imposed on the employee.


Working through the stages 

It's important to work through the disciplinary proceedings taking each stage in turn - missing something out could prove fatal. Our Disciplinary Proceedings Checklist allows you to tick off the relevant points as you go. For example, it:

  •       considers the investigatory stages, e.g. have all witness statements been obtained?
  •       reminds you what the employee must be notified about before the disciplinary hearing, e.g. the allegations against them, your evidence and their right to have a companion present
  •       deals with the preparation of the meeting room, e.g. is there sufficient privacy?
  •       offers reminders along the way, e.g. impartiality of management.

With regards to the disciplinary hearing, it provides a breakdown of the points that should be covered. Working through them in turn ensures that everything is covered. If it transpires during the disciplinary hearing that further investigation is needed, you should adjourn for this to take place.

Note. Once the disciplinary hearing has been concluded, you will need to follow our separate Post-Disciplinary Proceedings Checklist. It deals with the stages that come afterwards.


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