Disciplinary & grievance
Working relationships are often key to the success of a business, and our employment lawyers understand that where issues arise, they need to be dealt with fairly, swiftly and with as little disruption as possible.
We offer commercial and practical advice on handling poor performance and conduct issues through disciplinary action, as well as responding to employee grievances, to minimize the risk of Tribunal claims whilst maintaining good industrial/employee relations wherever possible.
We can support you with negotiating the exits of both junior and senior employees, with guidance on negotiating exit terms and drafting your settlement agreements. We advise on tricky issues such as notice pay, garden leave, restrictive covenants, share schemes, pension contributions and other employee benefits. We can also help you prepare for and undertake protected conservations to ensure the best outcome for the business.
Underperforming employees can have a detrimental impact on your business’ reputation, performance and staff morale. We can advise you on all aspects of handling performance issues, including performance improvement plans, drafting capability policies, taking disciplinary action, disability discrimination risks and without prejudice negotiations.
“An exceptional balance of expertise and personality.”
FAQs – Disciplinary & grievance
A disciplinary procedure is an internal process that an employer has in place to address and deal with allegations of misconduct relating to its employees. In some cases it may also be used to address issues of poor performance though it is common for employers to have a separate policy for performance management.
Employers should create written grievance and disciplinary policies clearly setting out its expectations and the procedures it has in place.
ACAS produce a guide on these processes (often referred to as the ‘ACAS Code’) which provides a strong foundation for the development of rules and procedures. Where relevant, a failure to follow the ACAS Code will be taken into account by a Tribunal.
Yes, in the first instance employers will usually try and resolve matters informally. However, a formal process would be used if this is not successful and/or if the employee requests this.
A grievance refers to a concern an employee has and wishes to raise with their employer. It’s important for an employer to have an effective procedure for dealing with these so that it can investigate and properly address any concerns raised.
ACAS has produced a guidance document (often referred to as the ‘ACAS Code’) for disciplinary processes which provides a strong foundation for conducting disciplinary meetings. Where relevant, a failure to follow the ACAS Code will be taken into account by a Tribunal.
ACAS sets out the procedure to follow at the disciplinary hearing itself (as well as procedures preceding and following this stage) which includes allowing the individual to be accompanied by a trade union representative or colleague; clearly explaining the complaint to the employee; going through the evidence gathered; and allowing the employee to state their case, raise any relevant points, present evidence, call witnesses and ask questions.
This may differ for different employers and depending on the job roles concerned. There will also be some instances of misconduct that are so serious they are classed as ‘gross misconduct’.
Examples of misconduct could include minor breaches to policies or contracts; poor timekeeping; damage to property; refusal to follow instructions; obscene language and unauthorised absence. Examples of gross misconduct could include theft; fraud; misuse of company property; being under the influence of alcohol/illegal drugs at work; violence; discrimination and serious or repeated breaches of company policy. These are not exhaustive lists and there are many more examples of misconduct and gross misconduct.
Read, listen and watch our latest insights
- 16 November 2023
TUPE Podcast Series: Service Provision Changes – Single specific events or tasks of short duration
In this fourth podcast in our TUPE Podcast Series, Amanda Glover will be looking at the second of the three conditions required for a service provision change transfer..
- 15 November 2023
Employment law changes on the horizon
There has been a few recent announcements relating to employment law reforms, which could be significant for businesses, and is considered below.
- 31 October 2023
The Whistleblowing Wraith – a Halloween Horror
A short reminder of the horrors that whistleblowing can bring, do not ignore them, as like the wraith, it can be devastating.
- 24 October 2023
Step by Step guide to Internal Investigations
The below step by step guide is intended for employers, to help them know the right actions to take and when to take them.
- 10 October 2023
Reasonable adjustments for mental health in the workplace- FAQs
Today is World Mental Health Day, a day indented to raise awareness of mental health problems. Mind estimates that 1 in 4 people have mental health problems, but that most do not receive the help that they need.
- 04 October 2023
Are you ready for AI in the workplace
We are all aware from the media of the strides Artificial intelligence (AI) technology is making, and how it is beginning to permeate every industry, from artificially generated art being used a credits for A-list TV shows, to ChatGPT being used to write a court defence in the USA.
“Clarkslegal’s innovative approach to solving complex cases is consistent; their quality standards are extremely high and their staff are efficient and friendly – overall 11/10!”