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Whilst employees are a valuable asset of any business, unfortunately, it is sometimes necessary to discipline and/or dismiss a staff member for their conduct.

You should always ensure that you address any conduct issues promptly and follow a fair disciplinary procedure adhering to the ACAS code of practice: https://www.acas.org.uk/acas-code-of-practice-on-disciplinary-and-grievance-procedures  The procedure that you follow to discipline or dismiss a staff member is just as important as the reason behind your decision.

You should only ever suspend an employee if you have reasonable and proper cause to do so, but this step may sometimes be necessary, albeit any period of suspension should be kept as short as possible.

A fair procedure requires the employer to:

  • Conduct an investigation into the allegations.
  • Inform the employee about the allegations.
  • Convene a disciplinary hearing to give the employee an opportunity to explain their actions.
  • Give the employee the right of appeal against any decision (and convening an appeal hearing if the employee exercises that right).

The employee has the right to be accompanied at the disciplinary and appeal hearing by a work colleague or Trade Union representative.

It is always advisable to seek proper legal advice at an early stage to ensure fairness and minimise the risk of an employment tribunal claim. The Askews Employment law team have vast experience in dealing with disciplinary matters and can guide you through the process on a staged basis. We can also review or assist with the preparation of the relevant documentation or even chair the hearing on your behalf.

It is important that you have a proper disciplinary procedure in place in your staff handbook. Ask us about our Ask HR scheme.

If you would like advice or assistance in connection with a workplace issue, please call Lianne Payne, Head of Employment on 024 7623 1000.

Contact one of our Solicitors in Coventry: enquiries@askewslegal.co

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