3 reasons for a written disciplinary procedure

Regardless of the size of your organisation, it is essential to have robust and well-drafted HR policies and procedures in place. 

This is particularly the case when you are faced with employees’ misconduct and disciplinary matters.

Don’t believe us? Here are three good reasons for having a clear written disciplinary procedure in writing.

1  It allows you to lay down the law in your workplace.

A disciplinary procedure enables employees to know what standards of behaviour is expected from them, what constitutes acts of gross misconduct, what the disciplinary procedure involves, what possible sanctions can be imposed and the appeal process.

2  It can help you avoid big mistakes and defend claims.

Employers often find themselves making costly procedural mistakes when disciplining or dismissing an employee for misconduct. They may have a fair reason for dismissal, for example the employee has stolen company goods, deliberately damaged the employer’s property or breached health and safety rules, but if the employer has not followed a fair procedure, this can make the whole process unfair.

Having a clear, legally compliant and well-written procedure will guide a manager through a good disciplinary procedure which will reduce the likelihood of running into legal action and, if an Employment Tribunal claim is issued, give you a better chance of successfully defending it.

3  It adheres to the ACAS Code of Practice.

The ACAS Code of Practice on Disciplinary and Grievance Procedures lays down the principles for handling disciplinary situations in the workplace and clearly states that employers should have a written disciplinary policy. This Code of Practice is not legally binding, but it is referred to by Employment Tribunals. If the employer did not follow the Code of Practice and the employee succeeds in their claim, the compensatory award may be increased by up to 25%!

Convinced? You should be! If you don’t have a disciplinary procedure in place, there is no need to panic. Our Employment Law Advisers can draft one for you, tailored to your organisation’s needs. They can answer your queries and help you understand:

  • how to carry out an investigation into allegations of misconduct
  • who should conduct the disciplinary hearing
  • how to decide what sanction to impose on the employee
  • what to do if an employee commits an act of gross misconduct
  • whether it is fair to dismiss an employee.

To find out more about the HR and Employment Law guidance we can offer your business, contact us for a chat.