When will an employer hold a Disciplinary Hearing?
Being asked to attend a disciplinary hearing can be a very worrying time. Employers should only start a disciplinary process after informal attempts have been made to resolve the problem and after undertaking an investigation to establish the facts. Sometimes the employee will be suspended pending the outcome of an investigation into misconduct although any suspension should normally be on full pay and only for a short period. When taking formal disciplinary action the employer should follow any procedure set out in the employee’s contract of employment or in the staff handbook and the allegations should be set out in sufficient detail to enable the employee to respond at a hearing. Employees have the right to be accompanied at a disciplinary hearing by a colleague or trade union representative.
When will be the outcome of a Disciplinary Hearing?
Depending on the seriousness of the allegations and the findings of any investigation a Disciplinary Hearing will usually result in one of the following 4 outcomes, although occasionally other options such as demotion or redeployment may also be considered:
- Allegations dropped and no action taken
- First Written Warning
- Final Written Warning
You should be allowed to appeal any disciplinary sanction and present your case at an appeal meeting.
If the outcome of the Disciplinary Hearing is dismissal, an appeal has not succeeded and the employee has 2 years’ continuous service then it is possible to bring a claim for unfair dismissal in the Employment Tribunal. In certain circumstances it is still possible to bring a claim even without having been employed for 2 years if, for example, the dismissal is an act of discrimination or the employee is a whistleblower.
Sometimes an employer will offer the employee a Settlement Agreement as an alternative to starting or continuing with a disciplinary process.
Why choose OWC?
Over the years we have guided many employees through a disciplinary process. If we are instructed at an early stage employers can sometimes be persuaded to drop the allegations and we have also often successfully negotiated Settlement Agreements to avoid dismissal. Even if you have already been dismissed we can assist you with an appeal or bringing a claim for unfair dismissal in the Employment Tribunal.
Contact our Employment Law Solicitors in London, Surrey and Middlesex