If you are an employee facing disciplinary proceedings at your place of work, it can be stressful as well as being daunting. You may feel that your employer holds all of the power and that your opinion will not be heard.
However, you have a number of rights and your employer is required to follow the proper process in raising an issue with you and should also listen to your side of the story.
At Springhouse Solicitors, we can guide and represent you through the disciplinary process to ensure that your interests are observed and that a robust case is made in your defence. We deal exclusively with employment law and we can work on your behalf to ensure that you obtain the best possible outcome.
What are disciplinary issues?
An employer will start a disciplinary procedure when they feel that an employee’s behaviour has been unacceptable or improper, referred to as misconduct, or when their performance or capability is poor.
Misconduct can include refusing to carry out work properly, not turning up for work, consistent lateness, bullying or harassment. It could extend to misconduct outside the workplace as well as at work.
There are different levels of seriousness, from unsatisfactory conduct to serious misconduct and gross misconduct. Examples of gross misconduct include fraud, violence, gross negligence and serious insubordination. See our article, can employees be prosecuted for data protection breaches?.
Your employer may have a strategy in place for dealing with poor performance which might include offering training, support and encouragement and which should be offered to you.
How to handle disciplinary issues in the workplace
Your employer should have a disciplinary procedure in place which they should follow. This may be included in your employment contract or in the employee handbook. If there is no set procedure, they should follow the Acas Code of Practice on disciplinary and grievance procedures.
Initially, your employer will investigate what has happened. They will then hold a meeting with you to discuss the issue. You should be allowed time to prepare for this. You have the right to be accompanied at the disciplinary meeting by a colleague or a trade union representative, although not at a simple fact-finding meeting.
At the hearing, you should have the opportunity to present your side of the case and respond to the allegations that have been made against you.
Following the meeting, you will be advised of what they propose to do and you should have the opportunity to appeal their decision.
Defending a disciplinary case
If you believe that the disciplinary process that has been followed was not fair and was not in accordance with the Acas guidelines, you may be able to bring a claim against your employer. If you would like legal advice about your rights, please call us today.
We can help defend you if you are the subject of a disciplinary case. We have a proven track record in achieving successful results for employees in all types in disciplinary cases.
We will make sure that the disciplinary process is conducted properly and that you are fully prepared for your disciplinary hearing. We will fight your corner every step of the way.
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