Disciplinary Policy & Procedure. Version 2.0

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1 Disciplinary Policy & Procedure Version 2.0 Date of Last Update: February 2015

2 Version Control Note: minor updates increase version number by 0.1, major updates increase version number by 1.0. Version Number Sections Amended 2.0 Adopted Yarlington Housing Group s Disciplinary policy & procedure Date of update February 2015 Approved by Mark Evans

3 Table of Contents 1. Introduction Purpose General principles Record of Conversation Investigation Gross misconduct Procedure Role of companion The Disciplinary Meeting Disciplinary action Appeal Law relating to this document... 9

4 Introduction Inspired to Achieve is committed to providing an effective and efficient service to all of its customers and to ensure consistent delivery of these services. Our disciplinary policy is a means by which rules are observed and maintained. Where lapses occur these will be dealt with under the disciplinary policy where necessary. We will aim to ensure consistent and fair treatment to those for whom it applies. Purpose This policy is designed to help and encourage employees to achieve and maintain appropriate standards of conduct, attendance and job performance. This policy applies to all staff The aim of this policy is to ensure consistent and fair treatment in line with the protected characteristics The purpose of this document is to set out the current policy and rules for the handling of disciplinary matters. General principles The Company reserves the right to implement the procedure at any stage. Where time limits are referred to in the course of this procedure they may be varied by agreement between the employee and the Company or by the Company alone where necessary. Employees have the right to be accompanied at a formal disciplinary meeting by a fellow worker or trade union official of their choice. No formal disciplinary action will be taken until the case has been fully investigated. Where the misconduct is of a minor nature, no formal disciplinary action will normally be taken. Managers may initially deal with such an incidence through informal discussions (including Record of Conversation). Record of Conversation A record of conversation is an informal precursor to the formal disciplinary process. It allows the manager and the employee to resolve an issue without triggering the formal process. A record of conversation is recorded on an employee s file, held by HR and can be referred to where misconduct persists. If informal action does not bring an improvement, or the misconduct or unsatisfactory performance is too serious then formal action will be taken.

5 FORMAL ACTION Investigation All investigations will be dealt with in a fair and reasonable manner. The employee s immediate line manager will usually carry out any investigation. However, another manager may carry out an investigation if deemed appropriate dependant on the circumstances of the case. If the investigation leads to a formal disciplinary meeting, a different manager will hear this wherever possible. It is not always necessary to hold an investigatory meeting with the employee. However where such a meeting is held, the employee is not entitled to advance warning, to know in advance what the issues being investigated are, or to have copies of any evidence already obtained. We will provide such information as we see fit at the time. The employee will not be entitled to be accompanied at this stage. If an investigation indicates there is a capability not disciplinary issue, this will be handled in accordance with the Capability Policy. Investigations, capability and disciplinary warnings may run concurrently. Employees will be given the opportunity to ask questions, present evidence, call relevant witnesses, answer allegations and put their case fully during disciplinary meetings. Once the investigation is completed the Investigating Manager will decide whether or not the matter should proceed to a disciplinary hearing. The employee will be advised in writing of the outcome of the investigation through a formal hearing letter and will receive a complete copy of the pack, which will include any policies referred to, these will be highlighted. The Disciplinary Panel will include an independent manager not previously involved in the investigation and typically a member of the HR team. There may be instances (Alleged Gross Misconduct) where suspension with pay is considered necessary while investigations are carried out. The Company has the right to suspend with pay where there are reasonable grounds for concern that evidence may be tampered with, destroyed or witnesses pressurised before the disciplinary meeting, or if there is a potential risk to the business or other employees or third parties in allowing the employee to remain at work. A suspension is a neutral act and is not a disciplinary sanction. Gross misconduct Gross misconduct is misconduct of such a serious and fundamental nature that it breaches the contractual relationship between the employee and the Company. In the event that an employee commits an act of gross misconduct, the Company will be entitled to terminate summarily the employee's contract of employment without notice or pay in lieu of notice. Matters that the Company views as amounting to gross misconduct include (but are not limited to): theft from the Company, members of staff or the public; fraud or other incidences of dishonesty; falsification of a qualification that is a stated requirement of the employee's employment or results in financial gain to the employee;

6 falsification of records, reports, accounts, expense claims or self-certification forms, whether or not for personal gain; a verbal or physical assault on members of staff or the public; serious or deliberate damage to or misuse of the Company's property; drunkenness or being under the influence of illegal drugs while at work; possession, custody or control of illegal drugs on the Company's premises; serious breach of the Company's rules, including, but not restricted to, health and safety rules and rules on computer misuse; causing loss, damage or injury through serious negligence; conviction of a criminal offence that is relevant to the employee's employment; conduct that brings the Company's name into disrepute; unlawful discrimination or harassment serious insubordination, including wilful refusal to follow lawful and reasonable instructions; serious breach in confidence; behaving in such a way as to risk the health or safety of any of our clients, visitors or staff; and abandoning duty without authority; actions outside of work which bring the company into disrepute. It is emphasised that this list is not intended as an exhaustive list of offences constituting gross misconduct and that there will be other conduct which may justify dismissal without notice. Procedure Where, upon completion of an investigation, there are reasonable grounds to believe that an employee has committed an act of misconduct; the employee will be invited to attend a disciplinary meeting before the employee's department manager or manager of a similar level, and an HR representative. (Please note, poor performance arising out of incapability is dealt with under the Company s Capability Policy & Procedure. Poor performance arising out of misconduct e.g. a refusal to work properly would be covered by the disciplinary procedure). In the event of a disciplinary meeting taking place the Company will: 1. give the employee a minimum of 5 working days notice of the meeting; 2. tell the employee the purpose of the meeting and that it will be held under the Disciplinary procedure; 3. explain the employee's right to be accompanied at the meeting by a fellow worker or trade union official; 4. give the employee written details of the nature of his/her alleged misconduct; and 5. provide to the employee all relevant information (which should include the investigation pack; evidence relied on and copies of the policies). 6. Where the employee is unable to attend a disciplinary meeting and provides a good reason for failing to attend, the meeting will be adjourned to another day. The Company will give reasonable advance notice of the rearranged meeting. Unless there are special circumstances mitigating against it, if the employee is unable to attend the rearranged meeting, the rearranged meeting will take place in the employee's absence. The employee's fellow worker or trade union official may attend in such circumstances and will be allowed the opportunity to present the employee's case. The employee will also be allowed to make written submissions in such a situation.

7 Where the chosen companion is unavailable on the day scheduled for the meeting, it will be rescheduled, provided that the employee proposes an alternative time within five working days of the scheduled date. Role of companion The employee's chosen companion has the right to address the meeting to put forward the employee's case, respond on their behalf and sum up the case. The companion may also confer with the employee during the meeting. However, the companion cannot answer questions on behalf of the employee, or to address the meeting where the employee indicates that he/she does not wish this. Those who are under 18 or with special requirements will be allowed to bring a parent, guardian or family member. The Disciplinary Meeting A disciplinary meeting will normally be conducted by the employee's section/department manager together with the Company's HR Representative (the panel). The Investigating Officer cannot be a member of the panel, although may present any supporting facts and material to the disciplinary meeting. HR will take notes of the meeting. The employee will be entitled to be given a full explanation of the case against him/her. He/she will be permitted to set out his/her case and answer any issues raised. The employee will be given a reasonable opportunity to ask questions, present evidence and call relevant witnesses. He/she will also be given the opportunity to raise points about any information provided by witnesses. The Company may adjourn the disciplinary meeting if it appears necessary or desirable to do so (including for the purpose of gathering further information). The employee will be informed of the period of any adjournment. If further information is gathered, the employee will be allowed a reasonable period of time, together with his/her fellow worker or trade union official, to consider the new information prior to the reconvening of the disciplinary meeting. The employee's department manager or the disciplinary panel chair will convey the decision of the panel to the employee without unnecessary delay and will also inform the employee what disciplinary action, if any, is to be taken. The decision will be confirmed in writing within 5 working days. The employee will be notified of his/her right of appeal under this procedure. Disciplinary action After a disciplinary meeting, the following disciplinary action may be taken: No action required First Written Warning Final Written Warning Dismissal, or other sanction (e.g. demotion as an alternative to dismissal by agreement with the employee)

8 When deciding whether a disciplinary penalty is appropriate and what form it should take, consideration may (as considered appropriate) be given to: Whether the rules of the organisation indicate what the likely penalty will be as a result of the particular misconduct The penalty imposed in similar cases in the past The individual s disciplinary record (current warnings), work experience, position and length of service. Whether the issues have been caused by any lack of training, additional support or adjustments to the work which can be implemented instead of or in addition to a penalty. Similar offences will not always call for the same disciplinary action; each case must be looked at on its merits and any relevant circumstances taken into account. Where either a more serious disciplinary offence has been committed or further minor offences have been committed, the employee may receive a final written warning (which will remain on record for 12 months). The warning will ordinarily state that any further misconduct will render the employee liable to further, more severe disciplinary action, up to and including dismissal. The employee will be informed of the period that the warning will remain "live". During this period, the Company may refer to such a warning in the event of further misconduct on the part of the employee. All warnings will: Appeal set out the nature of the offence committed; inform the employee that further misconduct is liable to result in further disciplinary action under this procedure; specify the period for which the warning will remain "live", after such period; and specify the remedial action/improvements required state that the employee may appeal against the warning An employee may appeal against any disciplinary warning. The appeal will be heard by a senior manager who has not been involved in the disciplinary process to date. An appeal is not an opportunity to re-hear the original disciplinary case but will be restricted to issues such as severity of penalty, consistency in application of the policy or procedural errors. The employee must provide written notice of the appeal within five working days of being informed of the disciplinary sanction being imposed against him/her. When lodging an appeal, the employee should state: 1. the grounds of appeal; and 2. whether he/she is appealing against the finding that he/she has committed the alleged act or acts of misconduct or against the level of disciplinary sanction imposed (or both). Appeal meetings will normally take place within 14 days of receipt of the employee's written notice of appeal. An appeal meeting will need to be adjourned before a decision is made.

9 The appeal manager shall consider any representations made by the employee, the employee's companion or trade union official and all evidence from the investigation and disciplinary process. The appeal manager must decide on the basis of representations and the evidence whether or not to uphold the appeal. During the appeal meeting it may become necessary to adjourn to gather more information or to speak to witnesses to clarify points. The possible outcomes of an appeal are: The appeal may be rejected and the original outcome upheld Reduce the penalty (i.e. final written warning to a written warning) Remove the penalty entirely The outcome will be confirmed in writing within five working days and the Company's decision at the appeal is final. All personal records will be amended to reflect the action. In the event that the panel's decision to dismiss is overturned, the employee will be reinstated with immediate effect and he/she will be paid for any period between the date of the original dismissal and the successful appeal decision. His/her continuous service will not be affected. Law relating to this document Leading statutory authority Employment Rights Act 1996 Employment Relations Act 1999 Employment Act 2008 Employment Act 2008 (Commencement No.1, Transitional Provisions and Savings) Order 2008 (SI 2008/3232) Acas code of practice on disciplinary and grievance procedures(on the Acas website) Discipline and grievances at work: the Acas guide (PDF format, 352K) (on the Acas website)

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