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Disciplinary and grievance procedure

Grievance and Disciplinary

Every employer should have a grievance and disciplinary protocol, and have written copies of this for every member of staff.

From both the employer’s and from the employee’s point of view this is sensible and ensures that no disputes arise or are escalated as a result of a conflict regarding the procedures that should be followed should a grievance occur.

From the perspective of the employer, putting a well-written disciplinary procedure in place minimises the risk of ending up in front of an industrial tribunal for constructive or unfair dismissal.

For the employee, having a written procedure which must be followed should the employer feel it is necessary to instigate disciplinary proceedings ensures that all staff will  be treated equally and that they cannot be summarily dismissed or unfairly punished.

In the event that as an employer you do not have a document outlining your disciplinary procedures, then it is wise to seek professional advice in order to ensure that you have such a document in place as quickly as possible, and that it is correct, legal and robust.

As advocates and solicitors, Khan and Co. Solicitors have considerable expertise in drafting such documents. Please contact us at either our Birmingham or Wolverhampton offices to discuss your specific needs.

You can also gain useful information and advice from ACAS, and they produce a code of practice which can help guide you to ensuring you have the correct procedures and paperwork.

From the point of view of the employee, there should be an equally robust procedure for the handling of any grievance that you might have. As with the disciplinary procedures this should follow the ACAS Code of Practice.

In most cases this will require the employee to set out their grievance in writing so that it can be investigated. This is then taken to a meeting where it will be discussed and action agreed.

If this process fails to satisfy the employee, then they have a right of appeal to someone who was not originally involved.

Both management and employees should be trained in dealing with on the one hand disciplinary matters and on the other grievances. This training should incorporate help in identifying when a matter is sufficiently grave as to require one or other aspect of the process. It is important to recognise that the disciplinary and the grievance process should only be entered into once it has become clear that the situation will not be resolved informally.

Once an employer is satisfied that they have a well-written procedure for both disciplinary matters and grievances, this should be published in the company handbook, incorporated into the personnel or HR manual, available on any intranet that the company operates and should also constitute part of the employment contract for each employee.

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