Disciplinary and Grievances

Expert Disciplinary & Grievances Solicitors

Disciplinary proceedings and grievances, at any level, should be taken very seriously. Failure to properly deal with disciplinary proceedings and grievances can often be the beginning of the end for the employment relationship and, if proper care and attention is not taken, businesses may end up facing claims in the employment tribunal. Further Employment Law services include:

Disciplinary & Grievances At Tinsdills

Every business should have policies and procedures in place which deal with the disciplinary and grievance process. These policies and procedures should contain an indication as to how seriously the business consider certain acts or failures and the likely outcomes if they occur. However, where a business does not have a policy, you could be guided by the ACAS code. 

Both disciplinary matters and grievances should be addressed by the employer with extreme care as the potential consequences can be severe. If the allegations being made against an employee amount to misconduct or gross misconduct and the allegations of such can be proven, it may be necessary for the business to end that person’s employment with the business. This is a decision that cannot be taken lightly. Similarly, if a grievance is not properly dealt with by the employer and the employee feels there has been a breakdown in trust and confidence, that employee may give notice to terminate their employment and later file a claim for constructive dismissal.

At Tinsdills, we have a dedicated team of employment solicitors with the expertise and knowledge to guide both businesses and employees through the disciplinary and grievance processes. We can advise businesses on the correct way to conduct investigations and hearings, and to advise them on the options available to them. We can also advise employees on their rights when faced with disciplinary action, suspension or when they feel they need to raise a grievance about their employer.

Whatever the issue, our dedicated employment solicitors are on hand to provide the tailored advice you need.

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    Suspending an employee from work is a serious measure to take and so it should only be done where justified and necessary and the ACAS code of practice provides some useful suggestions on when such action may be necessary. If suspension is justified, it should be for as brief a period as possible and should be reviewed by the employer constantly. The employer should also clearly explain to the employee that suspension is not a disciplinary action in itself and that it is not an assumption of guilt. Suspension should be made on full pay unless it is justified not to and only then if the employee’s contract of employment expressly permits suspension without pay.

    No, employees have the right to be accompanied by a trade union representative or by another member of staff in the business. However, if an employee has a disability (within the definition of disability provided under the Equality Act 2010) then the employer must make reasonable adjustments to the process, and this may include allowing the employee to be accompanied by a family member or carer.

    Whilst there is no statutory obligation on an employer to hear a grievance filed by a former employee after they have left and there is no explicit requirement in the ACAS code of conduct for an employer to follow a grievance procedure where a former employee raises a grievance, the legal definition of ‘employee’ includes someone who has left employment. On that basis, it may be best practice for employers to follow their grievance procedure and the ACAS code of conduct, even for grievances made by former employees, to avoid the risk of any increase in any award by an employment tribunal in the event that the former employee brings a successful employment claim within the time.

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