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Discipline & Grievance

When should I discipline?

Unfortunately, managing people or running your own business means at some time or another you are going to face a problem with an employee, and you might need to consider whether disciplinary action is necessary.

We always get asked how to handle this, and for many businesses, their initial thoughts are to remove the person from the business. Employment law rightfully does not allow this (unless the problem is serious enough to warrant it) and therefore a disciplinary process should always be followed.

All employers should have written disciplinary polices and procedures, and SMEs are not excluded. We often hear feedback from smaller businesses that as they only employ a handful of employees they don’t need to have these procedures in place – wrong!

ACAS introduced a code of practice this year, and we have already provided updates in our various blogs regarding this. However, it is useful to follow these steps when you think you might have a disciplinary issue.

Last year (2008) the number of individual employment tribunal claims filed rose by 15% and the most common issues raised were dismissal and redundancy.

Businesses that don’t have a formal discipline & grievance procedure in place could face automatic unfair dismissal claims and given the fact the average awards for unfair dismissals made against businesses last year was £8058 (max could be >£64,000) the costs of getting it wrong could easily put employers out of business.

Does Your business have a formal discipline & grievance procedure in place? call us today on 0800 612 4772 or get a free quote.

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