Disciplinary and Grievance


Disciplinary, Grievances, Outcome, Way Forward

So what are the rules now? The law has recently changed and procedures that were efficient previously may not be now. We can help you with your disciplinary, conduct, capability and grievance procedures and assist you each step of the way to make sure that you are doing everything properly. Just because something is down in writing doesn’t mean that it is if followed properly. Do you keep a paper trail of everything? Did you know that an employee does not have to summit a grievance anymore before they go to an Employment Tribunal?

Disciplinary and Grievance

This is a minefield that keeps changing. It is important that you follow a fair procedure and that you understand the legislation in relation to disciplinary and grievance procedures.

In April 2009 the legislation changed as is now covered by the new ACAS code of practice (the “Code”) and a new 74 page ACAS guide.

You will still need to follow a fair procedure in dealing with disciplinary and grievance issues as set out in the Code, and there are transitional provisions to deal with disciplinary, dismissal & grievance situations that straddle pre and post 6 April.

Under the new (April 2009) legislation the following apply:

  • There will no longer be a finding of automatic unfair dismissal because you have failed to comply with one of the steps in a disciplinary or grievance procedure.
  • The Code is not legally binding but whilst a failure to follow its provisions will not automatically result in a penalty nevertheless, the Tribunal will have reference to the Code in deciding whether you have acted fairly and reasonably.
  • If you fail unreasonably to follow the guidance set out in the ACAS Code then the Tribunal may in certain cases increase any compensation by up to 25% or, decrease it by up to 25% if an employee fails unreasonably to follow the ACAS Code.
  • The size and resources of the Company will again be taken into consideration however you will need to be more creative and flexible in line with the resources available to your Company in dealing with disciplinary and grievance matters in order to show Tribunals that you have acted reasonably in all the circumstances.
  • The ACAS Code simplifies the situation whereby a grievance is raised during a disciplinary process. Under the old legislation this had become very complicated with rigid rules and little flexibility to deal with the situation. The ACAS Code provides that in this situation, the disciplinary process may be temporarily suspended in order to deal with the grievance. If the grievance and disciplinary are related then it may be appropriate to deal with both issues concurrently. This gives you more leeway.

If you do receive grievances from employees in resignation letters or after they have left, it is recommended that you at least responds in writing (and in some situations tries to arrange a meeting) to minimise the risk of a 25% uplift if the former employee subsequently brings a successful claim.

It is important to note that any disciplinary, dismissal or grievance that formally commenced before the date of 6 April “009 is still governed by the Dispute Resolution procedures in place at that time.

Please call us for more information