1.1. Matters must be dealt with fairly. This means:

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1 Disciplinary Rules and Procedures The following is intended to provide a brief introduction to this subject. It explains some of the key basic ideas relating to disciplinary rules and procedures and should not be taken or treated as legal advice. Any specific queries or problems relating to issues covered in this briefing note may be addressed via the Markel Helpline. 1. ACAS Code of Practice Since April 2009 employers have been obliged to follow the ACAS Code of Practice on Disciplinary and Grievance Procedures ( The ACAS Code ). The ACAS Code is available on the ACAS website and should be referred to and followed when dealing with misconduct and poor performance, and grievances. Compliance with the ACAS Code is very important because where it applies and is not followed, and the matter proceeds to an employment tribunal hearing, the tribunal can increase any compensation by up to 25% to reflect the breach. The guidance below should be read in conjunction with the ACAS Code. In summary, the ACAS Code provides: 1.1. Matters must be dealt with fairly. This means: dealing with matters promptly and consistently; carrying out full investigations; informing employees of the allegations against them and giving them a chance to put their own case; giving them a chance to be accompanied at any formal hearings; and allowing an appeal against any formal decisions The ACAS Code set out the keys to handling disciplinary issues as: Establish the facts of each case. Where practicable, a different person should investigate and discipline. Suspensions should be as brief as possible. Inform the employee of the problem in writing. Hold a meeting with the employee to discuss the problem. Decide on the appropriate action. Provide an opportunity to appeal. Please note employers should keep written records of all discussions and meetings. 2. Disciplinary procedures Employers are responsible for maintaining and setting standards of performance in an organisation and for ensuring that disciplinary rules and procedures are in place. Employers will usually want to have their own disciplinary procedure, as well as following the requirements of the ACAS Code.

2 When devising rules of conduct, the aim should be to cover all those aspects which are necessary for a safe and efficient workforce and for maintaining good employment relations Conduct rules normally cover: Bad behaviour, such as fighting or drunkenness Unsatisfactory work performance Harassment or victimisation Misuse of company facilities Poor timekeeping Unauthorised absences Repeated or serious failure to follow instruction 2.2. Conduct rules should be clear and recorded in writing. They also need to be readily available for all employees. Management should ensure that this is done as part of an induction process. Employees should be told about the likely consequences of breaking disciplinary rules and which gross misconduct offences can lead to summary (instant) dismissal Some examples of gross misconduct are: Theft or fraud Physical violence or bullying Deliberate and serious damage to property Serious insubordination Serious breach(es) of confidentiality Bringing the organisation into disrepute Accessing internet sites with offensive or obscene content, including downloading and / or distributing offensive or obscene material An employer should draw up a non-exhaustive list of gross misconduct offences and make sure that employees are aware of these issues Good disciplinary procedures must: Be put in writing Say to whom they apply Be non-discriminatory Allow for matters to be dealt with without undue delay Allow for information to be kept confidential Tell employees what action might be taken against them Say what levels of management have authority to take disciplinary action Require employees to be informed of the complaints against them Allow employees to have their say before a decision is taken about them Provide employees with the right to be accompanied Provide that no employee shall be dismissed for a first breach of discipline, except in cases of gross misconduct Require management to investigate before disciplinary action is taken Ensure that any sanctions are explained Allow an appeal against the decision

3 It is sensible to keep rules and procedures under review to make sure they are always relevant and effective. New or additional rules should only be introduced after reasonable notice has been given to all employees and employee representatives have been consulted. 3. Disciplinary Action Employers must act fairly and consistently when dealing with disciplinary matters Investigation The employer must carry out investigations to establish the facts promptly before memories of events fade. It is important to keep a written record for future reference. Where an employee is invited to a 'fact finding' investigatory meeting, it should be made clear that this is not a disciplinary meeting. In certain circumstances, (where the offence is very serious, where there is a risk to the employer's property, a risk to the safety of employees or where there is a reasonable belief that any witnesses or evidence may be tampered with,) a brief period of suspension on full pay should be considered to allow the investigation to continue unhindered. Suspension should only be imposed where absolutely necessary and where this has been carefully considered. The suspension should be reviewed to ensure that it is not unreasonably long. The employee should be reassured that suspension is not a punishment and is a neutral act. Please note, suspension is not a disciplinary sanction Disciplinary Sanction Informal Action Cases of minor misconduct or unsatisfactory performance are usually best dealt with by informal action. If informal action does not bring about an improvement after a reasonable period, formal action should be taken Formal Action Inform the employee in writing of the suspected wrongdoing. This letter should contain sufficient information to enable the employee to understand the allegations against them and why this behaviour is not acceptable. The employee should also be invited to a meeting to discuss the issues and be informed of their right to be accompanied at this meeting. The employee should be given copies of any documents which will be referred to at this meeting.

4 Meeting At the meeting, the allegations should be explained to the employee and he/she should be allowed to set out their case in response. The employee should also be permitted to ask questions, present evidence, call witnesses and comment on information provided by witnesses. If an employee cannot attend the meeting, he should inform the employer as soon as possible. Similarly, if an employee's representative cannot attend, the employee representative can suggest a new date provided that it is reasonable and no later than five working days after the original date. All parties at the meeting should be introduced and explain why they are at the meeting. The purpose of the meeting should also be explained. The employee's representative should be allowed to ask questions and confer with the employee if the employee wishes and may even present the employee's case on their behalf. They cannot, however, answer questions on behalf of the employee. It is good practice to adjourn the meeting to allow for some time to consider the issues or where the employee or their representative requests an adjournment. If an employee becomes distressed at this meeting, the employer should check if they are able to proceed and, if not, should adjourn the meeting or postpone it and reconvene it at a later date Decision Following this meeting, the employer must decide whether disciplinary action is justified and, if so, what form this should take. Before making this decision, the employer should consider the employee's disciplinary and general record and whether the intended action is reasonable in all the circumstances. Formal action usually involves the following series of sanctions: Verbal warning confirmed in writing First written warning or improvement notice Final written warning Dismissal (or action short of dismissal) The decision should be confirmed in writing to the employee. The employee should be informed of how long any warning will remain on their personnel file, any improvements which are considered necessary and consequences if there are further incidents or misconduct.

5 4. Appeals Employees should be given the opportunity to appeal any disciplinary sanction taken against them. It is useful to set a time limit for an appeal. Usually, 5 working days is enough. As far as reasonably practicable, a more senior manager who has not been involved with the case should hear the appeal. Records of the original disciplinary hearing should be made available to the person hearing the appeal. It is important to keep notes of all hearings, meetings and conversations, setting out what took place, whether any sanction was imposed, and why. The qualifying period for the right to claim unfair dismissal was extended from one to two years on 6 April However, this applies only to employees who start their employment after that date. This means that if an employee started employment prior to 6 April 2012, they will now have completed 1 years service and be eligible to claim. However if an employee started employment on or after 6 April 2012, they will need to complete 2 years service before they will have satisfied this criteria and be eligible to claim unfair dismissal. Please note that there are exceptions to this rule if, for example, an employee is asserting that they were dismissed due to whistleblowing or for pregnancy related reasons. The government has also introduced a fee for lodging tribunal claims. From July 2013, a claimant will need to pay a fee of 160 to bring a straightforward claim such as for unlawful deduction of wages, and a fee of 250 for more complex claims such as for unfair dismissal. If the matter goes further to a hearing, the claimant will need to pay an additional fee. DAC Beachcroft LLP August 2013

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