Discipline

Wednesday, July 6, 2022

Disciplinary action may be needed when an employee breaks the employer’s rules, behaves inappropriately or fails to reach a satisfactory standard of performance. The disciplinary policy of a company should:

Handout 1: The Positive Approach to Discipline

Wednesday, July 6, 2022

Discipline should be viewed as a positive way to let people know what is expected of them, and what steps will be taken if standards of performance or conduct are not met.

Handout 2: The Manager’s Role

Wednesday, July 6, 2022

The rules which govern standards of behaviour or conduct in the organisation should be made readily available to employees and communicated in such a way that they are clear what is expected of them. A thorough induction programme should inform employees in the first instance, but timely reminders and a system for the communication of changes should be in place.

Handout 3: The Legal Aspects

Wednesday, July 6, 2022

The main objective of the legislation relating to employment protection is to lay down a framework of good employment practice. This is so employees can expect to be treated fairly and to have some right of redress if they are not.

Handout 4: The Acas Code of Practice

Wednesday, July 6, 2022

To help employers identify what constitutes fairness in disciplinary action, Acas provides a Code of Practice which gives recommendations as to how disciplinary procedures should be applied. The Code covers disciplinary rules and procedures, gross misconduct, dismissal, grievance procedures, appeals and the right for workers to be accompanied at formal disciplinary and grievance hearings. It does not apply to dismissals on grounds of ill health, redundancy or legal restriction, nor dismissals on account of the expiry of a fixed-term contract. In certain circumstances, it may apply to dismissals for “some other substantial reason” if the substantial reason for the dismissal has something to do with the employee’s conduct or behaviour at work.

Handout 5: The Stages of a Disciplinary Procedure

Wednesday, July 6, 2022

Given that the concept of fairness requires that no employee should be dismissed for a first offence (except where the first offence amounts to gross misconduct justifying summary dismissal), the disciplinary procedure should be structured in stages so that an employee will reach the dismissal stage only if offences are committed repeatedly. Acas provides guidance in setting out these stages, advocating that two warnings, a first written and a final written warning, should be given. Many organisations operate with three stages, ie with the first stage being a formal verbal warning.

Handout 6: Misconduct and Incapability

Wednesday, July 6, 2022

Every organisation has its own rules and procedures, and these will typically cover issues like timekeeping, absence, dress, behaviour, computer use, and compliance with statutory obligations such as health and safety regulations. Breaking these rules is misconduct and will result in the manager having to apply disciplinary measures relevant to the misdemeanour.

Handout 7: Using Informal Discipline Effectively

Wednesday, July 6, 2022

The intention of the informal warning stage is to encourage employees to correct their behaviour or to improve their performance before formal action needs to be taken. This usually involves taking the employee aside (in private) to let them know that their conduct or performance is unsatisfactory and needs to improve, and offering help and guidance to achieve the required improvement.

Handout 8: The Skills of Performance Counselling

Wednesday, July 6, 2022

Prepare thoroughly for the meeting by deciding exactly what outcome is required. Get the facts and figures together. Plan the approach. Deal with behaviour, action and results, not personality.

Handout 9: The Role of the Disciplinary Interview

Wednesday, July 6, 2022

The disciplinary interview is a key part of a fair procedure, whereby individuals are given the right to answer the allegations against them, state their case and present any mitigating factors. The disciplinary interview has a number of main objectives.