Your browser does not support JavaScript

Guide to chairing a disciplinary hearing

2 min read
£ 20
Or, upgrade to our Disciplinary toolkit

Our Guide to Chairing a Disciplinary Hearing ensures confident and fair hearings, helping managers navigate disciplinary processes effectively.

This guide provides a framework to help an employer navigate the considerations that must be addressed when chairing a disciplinary hearing.

We also have budget-friendly bundles featuring this template:

What is a Guide to chairing a disciplinary hearing?

A competent and well-run disciplinary hearing is essential for any reasonable misconduct dismissal.

As such, anybody tasked with chairing a disciplinary hearing must ensure that the hearing is handled in a fair way.

Guide to chairing a disciplinary hearing
guide to chairing a disciplinary hearing

What legal and best practice aspects should employers be aware of?

  • Employment Rights Act 1996: Provides guidelines on conducting fair disciplinary hearings and ensuring employees' right to be heard.

  • Equality Act 2010: Ensures equal treatment during disciplinary processes, preventing discrimination based on protected characteristics.

  • ACAS Code of Practice on Disciplinary and Grievance Procedures: Offers best practices for handling disciplinary hearings and promoting procedural fairness.

  • Data Protection Act 2018: Ensures proper handling and privacy of employee data during disciplinary hearings.

Guide to chairing a disciplinary hearing


Introductions

The person leading the hearing (the chair) will introduce the hearing, and explain its purpose and how it will be conducted. The purpose of the hearing will normally be to establish the facts and determine, on conclusion of the hearing, whether the organisation has proper grounds to take disciplinary action against the employee and, if so, the level of such disciplinary action.

The parties present at the hearing will introduce themselves and confirm their respective roles in the hearing.

The chair will state that the hearing is being conducted as part of the organisation's disciplinary procedure, and confirm that a written record of the hearing will be made.

Witnesses

The chair will state whether any witnesses have been asked to give evidence at the hearing, and if so, who they are.

The right to be accompanied

The employee will be entitled to be accompanied, if he/she wishes, by a fellow worker or trade union official of his/her choice.

Background

The chair will explain fully the organisation's case, i.e. the employee's alleged or suspected misconduct or other circumstance leading to the possibility of disciplinary action being taken against him/her. All the relevant facts will be put to the employee, with specific examples of relevant incidents being given where possible.

Evidence

Where evidence has been obtained from third parties in the form of written statements, either the statements themselves or a summary of their content will be given to the employee. The organisation reserves the right, however, to conceal the identity of the parties who provided this evidence if it thinks it is necessary or appropriate to do so. 

Employer witnesses

Any witnesses whom the organisation has decided to call will be called into the hearing and asked to state their evidence in front of the parties.

Employee questions

The employee or his/her representative will be allowed a full opportunity to question the chair on the organisation's case, and to raise points about any information provided by witnesses. 

Employee right to reply

The employee will be allowed a full and fair opportunity to state his/her side of events, explain his/her conduct and state any mitigating factors. He/she may do this personally, or the employee's representative (if he/she has elected to be represented) may do this on his/her behalf. 

Employee witnesses

Any witnesses whom the employee has arranged to call will be called into the hearing and asked to state their evidence in front of the parties.

Employer questions

The chair will question the employee on his/her evidence and raise points about any information provided by witnesses. Although the employee may confer with his/her representative at any time during the hearing on request, the chair has the right to ask the employee personally to answer any questions put to him/her.

The chair will take into account any mitigating factors put forward by the employee when subsequently making a decision about whether or not to impose a disciplinary penalty, and the level of any such penalty.

Summary

The chair will sum up the key points of the hearing.

Decision

The chair will inform the employee on when a decision will be made on whether to impose a disciplinary penalty on the employee.

Appeal

The chair will inform the employee that he/she will have the right to appeal against any disciplinary penalty imposed on him/her.

Close

The chair will close the meeting.

At any point during the hearing, the chair may adjourn the proceedings if it appears necessary or desirable to do so (including for the purpose of gathering further information).

Related articles

Why buy our Guide to chairing a disciplinary hearing?
  • You save time and effort with a professionally written, editable HR document that is tailored to meet best practice.
  • You ensure compliance with applicable ACAS Codes of Conduct and other legal requirements.
  • You are notified by email whenever this template or its supporting resources are updated.
  • You enjoy 12 months of unlimited access with no hidden fees or extra costs.
  • You unlock a 25% discount on all future purchases or renewals of our libraries, toolkits, and templates.

What do our customers say about us?

I have been using the service now for around 6 months and it has been really useful in developing and updating polices and processes.

- Jamie Allan, Armstrong Craven ★★★★★

Armstrong Craven logo

Read full review on Google

Excellent library of resources and templates which have made my job in my small business so much easier to manage HR for my employees...

- Emma Hunt ★★★★★

Read full review on Google

Great value and the site contains an extensive library of essential HR documents. I access the site probably once a week...

- Laura Alliss-Etty ★★★★★

Read full review on Google

A great source of information and advice. I can highly recommend hrdocbox.

- Georgina Loom, The Hygiene Bank

The Hygiene Bank logo

HRDocBox is a great resource. It is incredibly good value, providing a large selection of HR guidance materials as well as...

- Emma Beauchamp ★★★★★

Read full review on Google

Supporting Menopausal Employees and Avoiding Legal Risk
Thu, 22 Feb 24

Supporting Menopausal Employees and Avoiding Legal Risk

Guidance for Employers

The recent announcement from the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) clarifying the legal obligations surrounding menopause in the workplace has sparked important conversations...