The aim of the Disciplinary Policy is to help and encourage employees to improve, achieve and maintain standards of conduct, attendance and job performance. It also enables management to deal effectively with those employees who do not comply with the Company standards of conduct, attendance and performance in the workplace. Equally, the policy and procedure are designed in a manner which is non-discriminatory and which is fair, consistent and effective. It must also be applied in a timely manner and without undue delay.
All Managers have a responsibility for ensuring that employees are made aware of the Disciplinary Policy. All employees are to be informed of the standards of conduct and work performance expected of them and Managers should ensure that these standards are fully understood by those who work to them. Action taken under this policy must reflect fully the process detailed in the Procedural Appendix attached to this policy.
Matters relating to or arising under the Disciplinary Policy must be treated as confidential at all times. Failure to do so may itself constitute grounds for initiating disciplinary action.
At each stage of the Disciplinary Procedure attached to this policy, the employee has a right to be accompanied by an accredited Trade Union representative or work colleague. The employee will also be informed in writing of:
- The nature of the complaint or allegation against them; and
- The stage at which the matter is being considered.
The employee will also be reminded that they will be given a full opportunity to state their case and if action is taken, what improvement is required. They will also be reminded of their right of appeal.
Managers whose responsibilities require them to participate in or hold disciplinary meetings will be given appropriate training to enable them to undertake their role effectively and dispassionately.
Employees should make every effort to attend meetings or interviews relating to the application of the Disciplinary Procedure. If an individual is unable to attend, they will need to give notice and the reasons why they are unable to attend. The meeting will then be re-scheduled to a mutually convenient time. Unless the reasons are exceptional, the re-arranged meeting must take place within 10 working days. However, where an employee fails to attend such meetings more than once without compelling reasons, then meetings may be held in the employee’s absence. Where this measure is invoked, the employee will be informed of this in writing.
Those responsible for making arrangements under the Disciplinary Policy must ensure that any necessary, reasonable adjustments required by the employer or other attending have been addressed. This may relate to disability or to the requirements of religious beliefs.
Should an employee have an objection to the person or persons appointed to investigate or hold meetings in connection with the disciplinary matter they must raise this objection in writing, clearly stating the reasons to the HR Manager. Such objection must be made within two working days of the notification about the matter under investigation being brought to their attention.
The nature of the disciplinary action taken will be determined according to the nature and seriousness of the alleged misconduct and a dispassionate assessment of the facts based on the balance of probabilities. Where misconduct is established and the sanction is a warning then subsequent misconduct within the currency of the warning may result in further and