To ensure that your organisation operates effectively, you must make your employees aware of the standards of conduct and performance you expect of them. Minor misconduct or under-performance can be dealt with relatively simply by way of an informal chat; however, more serious issues take more time and care.
The circumstances of the particular case will determine what action you should take. However, in all cases, you should deal with issues promptly, fairly and consistently.
Firstly, you should carry out an investigation to gather and establish all the facts of the case. Then you should set out any allegations in writing and invite the employee to a hearing, at which they have the right to be accompanied. The employee should be given the opportunity to state their case and then appeal against whatever decision you make.
You should be mindful of the ACAS Code of Practice, available at www.acas.gov.uk, which promotes the principle of fairness at all stages of a disciplinary process. A failure to follow the Code does not, in itself, make you liable to proceedings. However, a Tribunal will take it into account when deciding on an unfair dismissal claim.
Disciplinary rules should set out what you expect in relation to:
- health and safety
- use of telephones, email and internet
For more information on discipline, contact us and we will be happy to help.