When does your employer have the right to discipline you?
Your employer should first make you aware of the standards it expects of you by way of conduct and performance. Minor misconduct or under-performance can usually be dealt with through an informal chat. However, more serious issues which could lead to disciplinary action or dismissal, should be handled differently.
Firstly, your employer should set out in writing the allegation(s) against you. Secondly, your employer should invite you to a meeting, at which you have the right to be accompanied by either a colleague or trade union rep. Thirdly, you should be given the right of appeal against any decision your employer makes.
Before instigating any disciplinary action against you, your employer should have first carried out a proper investigation and gathered evidence. You are entitled to see such evidence before any disciplinary hearing, so that you understand the allegations against you and have an opportunity to prepare.
Your employer should be mindful of the ACAS Code of Practice, which promotes the principle of fairness at all stages of a disciplinary process. Tribunals take the Code into account when deciding on an unfair dismissal claim and if your employer fails to follow the Code, the Tribunal may increase your compensation as a result.
For more information on discipline, contact us and we will be happy to help.