Support for those difficult conversations

Disciplinary procedures and dismissal

It's never easy, but sometimes there's no alternative

Whilst it’s by no means certain that you’ll ever have to carry out a disciplinary procedure in the workplace, it’s most definitely worth being aware of what such a process involves.

Taking disciplinary action

The right approach

Identify the issue

Disciplinary procedures commence when an employee has done something against company policy. This may include anything from harassment to fraud or misuse of company property.

Address the issue

In most cases, it's worth trying to address issues with an informal conversation. By making the employee aware of complaints, you can often resolve the problem before it escalates.

Escalating the issue

Should the situation intensify, or if the employee continues to flout the rules despite being aware of the negative consequences, disciplinary action may be required.

Formal procedures

Acas code of conduct

If you decide that formal disciplinary action is necessary, then you should follow the Acas Code of Practice. This sets out the requirements of fairness that are appropriate to most cases.

Suspending an employee

If the employee’s transgression is serious enough, it's not uncommon for them to be suspended while an investigation takes place.

Terminating the contract

Should you discover that the individual in question has committed an offence (or number of offences), then the employer will generally end up terminating their contract.

Employment tribunals

Being taken to a tribunal

If an individual disagrees with the outcome of a disciplinary hearing, then they may decide to go to an employment tribunal. The employee will be asked to provide evidence to support their claim and the employer will be given the opportunity to respond.

At the hearing

You’ll present the case to the tribunal, and the claimant will present their case against you. You may be asked questions by the judge, the claimant, and 2 other tribunal members (only in certain tribunals)

Getting a decision

You’ll be sent the decision in the post shortly after the hearing. If you win the case, in most cases you will not be awarded any compensation. However, if the claimant acted unreasonably or if their case had no hope of success, you can ask to be awarded costs by the tribunal.

What can NatWest Mentor do for you?

NatWest Mentor can work with you to help you through the complex issues and difficult conversation that most business owners will have to have at some point in their journey. We can support you with employment law, health and safety and even environmental issues.

Please note that Mentor services can incur a cost.