Grievance, Whistle blowing and Disciplinary, including Dismissals

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1 eastsussex.gov.uk Grievance, Whistle blowing and Disciplinary, including Dismissals This document will provide you with information on Grievance, Whistle blowing and Disciplinary procedures, including dismissals. - 1

2 GRIEVANCE An employee may raise a grievance for any one of a number of different reasons. For instance, they may have concerns or complaints about their work, employment terms, working conditions or relationships with colleagues. If an employee has a grievance it is important to deal with it promptly and correctly. You must have written grievance procedures, such as a grievance policy, these procedures should help you and your employee resolve the grievance and should also ensure that you deal with employee s grievance fairly. By law, all employees should be notified of whom they should inform about a grievance and how they can submit a grievance, whether that be informally or formally. This information can be included in the employee's contract or the contract can refer the employee to your grievance policy for further information. What happens if an employee comes to you with a grievance informally? If an employee comes to you informally with a grievance, you should aim to resolve this quickly and fairly. However if an employee feels the grievance has not been resolved or would like their grievance treated in a more formal way, they may chose to raise the grievance with you formally. Employees wishing to raise a formal grievance should do so in writing, setting out the nature of the grievance. What happens if your employee raises a grievance formally? Once an employee has raised a grievance with you formally, they will then want you to try to resolve the problem. To do this you will need to follow your written grievance policy, which should detail the different stages of the grievance procedure clearly for you and your employees. Your grievance policy and procedures should follow the principles laid out in the ACAS Code of Practice which can found on: Failure to follow these principles may result in a tribunal. What needs to be included in a grievance policy? Your employee grievance policy should be written according to the size and structure of your setting. However, it should be easy to follow and aim to settle grievances fairly and quickly. It should also state that you will try to resolve most complaints and grievances informally, e.g. by discussions with the employee. The setting s policy should include: How employees can raise grievances, both informally and formally. With whom the grievance should be raised Give an alternative person if the grievance is about the named person Give details of the different stages of a grievance, with time limits for each stage. Include details of how the grievance meetings will be held Include details of the employee s right to be accompanied by a colleague or union representative at any meetings The appeal process if the employee is not satisfied with the outcome Who will hear the appeal Give details of what will happen if a grievance is raised during a disciplinary procedure - 2

3 Your grievance policy should detail the different stages of the grievance procedure clearly for your employees. An example grievance and whistle blowing policy can be found online. Stage 1 of a formal grievance procedure - Organise and hold a grievance hearing After receiving the grievance from your employee, you must organise and hold a grievance hearing (meeting) with the employee without unreasonable delay. Your employee has a right to be accompanied at the hearing if they chose. It is important you complete the necessary preparation before this hearing in order for it for to be conducted fairly. You should consider the following before the hearing: Familiarise yourself with your grievance procedure so that you apply it correctly Carry out a full investigation if necessary Make sure you have all relevant facts and documents available for the hearing. Arrange for someone to take notes Arrange for another manager to attend the hearing to act as a witness to your conduct during the hearing Arrange a suitable time, date and venue for the hearing Inform the employee of the meeting arrangements in plenty of time, so they can prepare for the hearing and inform them of their right to be accompanied at the hearing. Inform any manager and witnesses who may need to attend Gather witness statements from any witnesses who will be unable to attend the hearing During the hearing, you should: Ensure that it's private and won't be interrupted Introduce everyone and explain why they are present Explain the reason for the hearing and how it will be conducted Listen carefully to the person's explanation of the problem Listen to any conflicting points of view Look at all the evidence to see whether there is an issue you need to address It's crucial that you deal with grievances sensitively and in the strictest confidence, particularly where they concern other employees. Stage 2 - After the grievance hearing Once the hearing is over you will need to decide what action to take, inform all concerned parties (in writing) of your decision and the appeal process, as well as review your procedure if the grievance process has highlighted problems with it. When making a decision it is important to try to balance fairness to the person, without compromising the business or other employees. You should also consider whether there is another issue which might be the root cause of the grievance. An employee has the right to appeal against your decision following the hearing. You must notify them of this right when you write to give them your decision, giving them a deadline to inform you of their intention to appeal, e.g. within ten working days. - 3

4 Stage 3 - Organise and hold a grievance appeal hearing If the employee chooses to appeal, you must try to hold the appeal hearing as soon as possible, completing similar preparation before this hearing as you have done previously including any new evidence you may now have. During the appeal hearing you should follow the same principles as before, however you should also consider: The reasoning behind the appeal Any new evidence since the earlier decision Ideally the person hearing the appeal should be someone who was not involved in the initial meeting or the grievance process so far. This will allow them to be able to hear any appeal without having any assumptions. However if this is not possible they should act impartially and make sure they review the original decision carefully. Stage 4 - After the grievance appeal hearing Following the appeal hearing you should write to the employee with your decision and the reason for it as soon as possible. Making it clear that your decision is final, if that is the case. Should I document the grievance? It is vital during the whole grievance process you document all investigations and hearings, in case you need to refer to the notes again in the future e.g. during an employment tribunal. WHISTLE BLOWING Whistle blowing is when an employee chooses to raise concerns about malpractice within the setting to their employer. Whistle blowing can be more formally referred to as making a disclosure in the public interest. Why is a whistle blowing important? It is important for all staff within the setting to be made aware of why whistle blowing is important. Managers should have discussions with their staff regarding how malpractice can affect the setting; the effect it can have on jobs and morale, as well as the risks it places the setting under. Managers should promote an open culture, where staff can feel confident to raise any concerns they have. Staff should be encouraged to remain vigiliant for malpractice within the setting and report any concerns they have to their managers. In childcare settings, whistle blowing is very important as it allows staff to raise concerns around child protection issues, without fear of it damaging their position in the setting. If an employee does whistle blow they should be protected and not victimised by their employer. Whistle blowers are protected for public interest, to encourage people to speak out if they find malpractice in the workplace. Malpractice could be improper, illegal or negligent behaviour by anyone in the workplace. However to be protected the disclosure should be made in good faith (honestly withut malice), the whistle blower should believe the information is substantially true and they must reasonably believe they are making the disclosure to the right person (e.g. a health and safety concern should be raised with the health and safety representative for the setting). Who can whistle blow within the setting? Any worker within the setting can follow the setting s whistleblowing procedures. By worker this includes all employees, as well as agency workers, some self employed workers if they are supervised and people who aren't employed but are in training with employers. - 4

5 What is classed as a qualifying disclosure? For your workers to be protected as a whilstle blower they need to make a qualifying disclosure about malpractice. This could be a disclosure about: Criminal offences Failure to comply with a legal obligation Miscarriages of justice Threats to an individual s health and safety Damage to the environment A deliberate attempt to cover up any of the above Workers should be encouraged to raise their concerns immediately, rather than wait for proof or investigate the matter themselves. It is important, as a worker, you have details of how an employee can do this, whether this be within your grievance policy or within a separate policy. An example grievance and whistle blowing policy can be found online. Who should a disclosure be made to? A whistle blowing procedure should encourage workers to disclose information through the appropriate channels first before raising their concerns with external bodies or people. Therefore in the first instance, workers should raise their concerns with their manager. This will depend however on the seriousness and sensitivity of the concerns, if their manager is not appropriate, the concerns should be taken to the committee or local authority representative. How should a disclosure be made? Concerns should be raised verbally or in writing, giving the following information regarding their concerns (where possible): Background and history to the concern Names of those involved Date and places Reason for making the disclosure regarding the concern Demonstrate that the disclosure is being made honestly and that they have reasonable suspicion that malpractice has occurred, is occurring or is likely to occur. This information will aid the subsequent investigations by the setting. How should a disclosure be investigated? The setting should begin by making initial enquiries to decide whether an investigation is appropriate and how this should be undertaken before involving the worker who has raised the concerns and those accused of malpractice. Some concerns may be resolved without the need for investigation, however if urgent action is required this should be taken before any investigations take place. The whistle blower should be notified within a set period of time (as stated in your policy) on how the setting proposes to deal with the concern raised. All concerns will be treated in confidence, however during an investigation it may be necessary to make the origin of the disclosure known to the person/s being investigated. - 5

6 Any concerns which fall under specific procedures such as conduct or discrimination will follow the appropriate disciplinary procedures. Managers should always thank their staff for raising concerns, even if the matter proves to be mistaken. What happens if a false disclosure is made? The setting should take no action against the whistle blower if a concern is raised in good faith and following investigation is unconfirmed. However if a whistle blower is found to raise a concern maliciously or for personal gain, the setting should take disciplinary action against them. Further information on Whistle blowing can be found at DISCIPLINARY A disciplinary procedure is to ensure that all employees are treated fairly and consistently, in particular those employees who become involved in disciplinary action. By law, all employees should be notified of your disciplinary rules, your disciplinary/dismissal procedure and the name of the person to whom they should appeal if they are unhappy about a disciplinary or dismissal decision. This information can be included in the employee's contract or the contract can refer the employee to your disciplinary policy for further information. An example disciplinary and dismissal blowing policy can be found online. Setting rules and employment policies should be common to all staff, employees should be made aware of these to know what is expected of them. Managers should ensure that these rules are applied consistently and fairly across the setting and that the consequences of not adhering to these rules and policies is clearly laid out. A code of conduct statement or specific policies should detail the rules around conduct, such as absence, timekeeping, health and safety, personal appearance, discrimination, bullying and harassment, smoking, alcohol and drugs consumption, use of company facilities and equipment for personal use during work time, etc. These documents should also include details of what is classed as gross misconduct and would lead to dismissal without notice, such as bullying, drunkenness/drug abuse, fraud, gross negligence, theft, breaches to health and safety, etc. For further information on employment policies, please refer to the Employment Policies guidance online Your setting should also have a Supervision and Appraisal policy which details the expected standards of performance of your employees. This policy will detail how objectives are set for employees and how their performance will be reviewed. For further information on supervision and appraisals, please refer to the Supervision and Appraisals guidance online. The disciplinary policy should make reference to these policies but also detail that disciplinary action may be taken for other reasons as well. What should be included in a disciplinary policy? Your disciplinary policy should be written according to the size and structure of your setting and should be easy to follow. - 6

7 It is important to include the disciplinary rules around conduct and performance and what is deemed as unacceptable in the workplace and the consequences if you find they have been breached. Your policy must also include: State who will be responsible for disciplinary investigations, hearings and appeals. An alternative person to above named people if the disciplinary is about them or they cannot participate. Give details of the different stages of a disciplinary, with time limits for each stage. Include details of how the disciplinary meetings will be held. Include details of the employee s right to be accompanied by a colleague or union representative at any meeting. The appeal process if the employee is not satisfied with the decision made Who will hear the appeal Outline what happens if a grievance is raised during a disciplinary procedure. Give details of how long a disciplinary will stay on an employees file, this may be different lengths of time depending on the type of warning and the circumstances. Your policy should be clear on what your disciplinary procedures are for performance (capability) issues and conduct issues, possibly detailing any variations to the procedure or the disciplinary penalties for each issue separately in your policy. For formal disciplinary action against misconduct, the disciplinary penalties can include: drop the matter or issue: a written warning a final written warning a dismissal In cases of gross misconduct it may be necessary to bypass some of the stages to resolve the matter quickly. For formal disciplinary action against performance, the disciplinary procedure can also include: meet with the employee to agree an improvement plan and discuss the standards you expect. This should include timescales (realistic) for improvement and details of support to be given to the employee e.g. training. you should also organise a date for a performance review, to discuss their progress, if your employee's performance has not improved after the review, you should consider issuing a verbal warning. After carrying out further regular reviews, the performance has still not improved, you should consider following the disciplinary procedure of issuing a written warning, followed by a final written warning. If after issuing a final warning the performance has still not improved, you may wish to dismiss the employee. The policy should also include details of how the meetings will be conducted and that the employee has the right to be accompanied at all meetings by a colleague or union representative. Is a disciplinary procedure always necessary? For issues such as minor misconduct or unsatisfactory performance, it is not always necessary to follow disciplinary procedures, these can be resolved informally. Sometimes a discussion, - 7

8 additional training or coaching can be sufficient for improvements to be made. A note should be placed in the employee s file for these informal meetings for record purposes. However if the issue is more serious or the informal approach has not worked, it may then be necessary to follow formal disciplinary action. The action can differ depending on whether the disciplinary is for conduct or performance. Stage 1 of any formal disciplinary procedure - Investigate With any potential disciplinary matter, you should carry out a full investigation before taking any action in order to establish the facts of the case. This may involve holding an investigatory meeting with the employee before proceeding with disciplinary or collate evidence for use in a disciplinary process. The following should be considered during your investigations: the alleged breach of discipline, the circumstances and consequences of the breach the employee's job, experience, length of service and disciplinary record the evidence of witnesses any recent changes to the job any previous incidents whether the employee has received appropriate counselling or training any mitigating circumstances, e.g. health or domestic problems Can I suspend an employee whilst I investigate the matter? For certain serious offences you may need to suspend an employee while you investigate the matter. They should continue to receive their full pay during this time. This suspension period should be as brief as possible, should be kept under review and it should be made clear to the employee that the suspension is not a disciplinary action. Once you have completed your investigations, you should then review the evidence to determine whether the case is serious enough for disciplinary measures or if there is an alternative to disciplinary action, e.g. an informal chat. Stage 2 - Organise and hold a disciplinary hearing After investigating the issue you should hold a disciplinary hearing with the employee to explain the issue, the disciplinary procedure and your reasons for going ahead with it. It is important you complete the necessary preparation before this hearing in order for it for to be conducted fairly. You should consider the following before the hearing: Familiarise yourself with your disciplinary procedure so that you apply it correctly Carry out a full investigation Make sure you have all relevant facts and documents available for the hearing (including details of any past disciplinary action taken against the employee). Arrange for someone to take notes Arrange for another manager to attend the hearing to act as a witness to your conduct during the hearing Arrange a suitable time, date and venue for the hearing Inform the employee of the meeting arrangements in writing and in plenty of time to allow them to prepare their case. You should give them details of the alleged misconduct or capability issue, the disciplinary procedure which will be followed and the possible consequences of the disciplinary hearing. Include their right to be accompanied at the hearing by a colleague - 8

9 or trade union official and copies of any documents you intend to rely on as evidence against the employee. Inform any manager and witnesses who may need to attend Gather witness statements from any witnesses who will be unable to attend the hearing During the hearing, you should: Ensure that it's private and won't be interrupted Introduce everyone and explain why they are present Explain the reason for the hearing and how it will be conducted Describe the exact nature of the complaint and go through the evidence Allow the employee to see any documents they haven't already seen Give the employee a chance to state their case and to respond to any allegations made Allow the employee the chance to ask any questions, present any of their own evidence and call any witnesses they believe are relevant. Allow the employee s representative any opportunity to sum up the employee s case, respond on behalf of the employee to any views expressed and confer with the employee during the meeting. The witness however cannot answer questions on behalf of the employee. Ensure that you get all the facts relating to the complaint and take note of any special circumstances Summarise what has been discussed and highlight any issues that need to be investigated further If it becomes clear during the hearing that the employee has a satisfactory explanation for their conduct/performance, stop the hearing and take no further action. You can pause the meeting if the employee is too distressed to continue, allowing them time to compose themselves before continuing or stop the meeting if further investigation seems necessary. An employee has the right to be accompanied at the formal disciplinary meeting by a colleague or union representative. Stage 3 After the disciplinary hearing It is advisable to make your decision after the hearing, rather than during, this will give you time to reflect on the hearing and make a more informed decision on whether disciplinary action is justified. Your decision should be made promptly after the meeting and could be one of the following: drop the matter issue another written or a final written warning provide counselling or training to help resolve the matter apply a disciplinary penalty. There are a number of different disciplinary penalties you can enforce after the hearing (providing their contract allows), these include: dismissal transfer them to another job demote them fine them, e.g. withdraw their bonus The employee should be informed in writing of your decision, this should include: the decision you have made - 9

10 the reasoning behind the decision any specific improvement that is required, if any how long any warning is going to remain in force what will happen if they continue to perform or behave poorly the right of appeal and how this should be carried out An employee has the right to appeal against your decision following the hearing. You must notify them of this right when you write to give them your decision, giving them a deadline to inform you of their intention to appeal, e.g. within ten working days. After giving a written warning, you should allow the employee time to improve their behaviour. You should only issue a further warning if the previous warning has no effect. Normally you should only dismiss if, during the entire disciplinary process, you have issued warnings and made it clear that if they failed to improve their conduct or performance they could be dismissed. For gross misconduct you may be able to dismiss immediately without giving notice or pay in lieu of notice, this is classed as a Summary Dismissal. However you should first investigate the incident fully and suspend the employee on full pay during the investigation. Some examples of gross misconduct include: Theft of property belonging to the setting, employees or customers Assault on any employees or persons associated within the setting Dishonestly such as use of funds for any other purpose other than it was intended for in the setting Being under the influence of drugs or alcohol whilst on duty Serious or consistent breach of safety rules Fraud Physical or verbal assault towards a child Discrimination against a person Failure to follow policies and procedures Criminal Offence. However you should not dismiss someone merely because they have been charged with or convicted of a criminal offence, either at work or outside work. You should investigate what action is justified given the seriousness of the offence and the employee's role. You should consider whether it affects their suitability to continue working for you. If it does, follow your normal disciplinary procedure. If it doesn't, decide whether you can keep their job open during any period of absence. A full investigation should be conducted to base your decision on. Stage 4 Organise and hold a disciplinary appeal hearing If the employee chooses to appeal, you must try to hold the appeal hearing as soon as possible, completing similar preparation before this hearing as you have done previously including any new evidence you may now have. An appeal meeting can still take place after an employee has been dismissed, providing it is within the deadline you have given for the request. During the appeal hearing you should follow the same principles as before, however you should also consider: The reasoning behind the appeal - 10

11 Any new evidence since the earlier decision Ideally the person hearing the appeal should be someone who was not involved in the initial hearing. This will allow them to be able to hear any appeal without having any assumptions. However if this is not possible they should act impartially and make sure they review the original decision carefully. Stage 5 After the disciplinary appeal hearing Following the appeal hearing you should write to the worker with your decision and the reason for it as soon as possible. Making it clear that your decision is final, if that is the case. Should I document the disciplinary? It is vital during the whole disciplinary process you document all investigations and hearings, in case you need to refer to the notes again in the future e.g. during an employment tribunal. These records should be kept confidential and the employee should be informed on how long these will be kept on their personnel file. If the employment ceases it is recommended they are be kept for up to 6 years. What happens if the employee raises a grievance during the disciplinary hearing? If an employee raises a separate grievance during a disciplinary hearing, you may have to call a halt to the hearing and deal with the grievance first. What happens if the employee is persistently unable to attend or unwilling to attend a disciplinary hearing? All steps should be taken to organise hearings which allow an employee to attend, however if an employee is persistently unable to attend the disciplinary hearings or expresses they are unwilling to attend, you can make a decision based on the evidence available. DISMISSALS You may have to sometimes dismiss staff from their positions, this can be for a number of different reasons, however should be a last resort. To dismiss an employee fairly, you must first have a fair reason for doing so. This could include conduct, capability, redundancy or a statutory requirement which could prevent the employment continuing (e.g. a driver losing their licence). A decision to dismiss should only be taken by a manager who has the authority to do so What is the difference between fair and unfair dismissal? The difference between fair and unfair dismissals depends on your reason for dismissal and whether you act reasonably during the dismissal process. Employment tribunals follow previous legal decisions in deciding what is reasonable. For a dismissal to be fair, as an employer, you must: genuinely believed that the reason for dismissal was a potentially fair one had reasonable grounds for that belief carried out proper and reasonable investigations where appropriate followed the relevant disciplinary/dismissal procedures (For further information on disciplinary procedures, please refer to the Disciplinary section of this document). told the employee why they were being considered for dismissal and listened to their views allowed the employee to be accompanied at disciplinary/dismissal hearings - 11

12 gave the employee the chance to appeal against the decision to dismiss acted within the 'band of reasonable responses' available in the circumstances An example of an unfair dismissal would be constructive dismissal, this occurs when an employee resigns because you have substantially breached their employment contract, such as: Reducing an employee s wages without agreement Unlawfully demote the employee Allow the employee s colleagues to subject them to harassment, bullying, victimisation, humiliation or discrimination Unfairly increase the employee s workload Change the location of the employee s workplace at short notice Making employees work in dangerous conditions The breach of contract can result from either a single serious event or the last in a series of less serious events. The individual may then choose to claim constructive, unfair dismissal at an employment tribunal. Another example of an unfair dismissal would be wrongful dismissal, this is when a contractual term is broken during the dismissal process, e.g. dismissal without giving proper notice. However it should be noted that in cases of summary dismissal due to gross misconduct, you can dismiss without giving notice. How do I inform an employee that they are being dismissed? The employee should be informed of their dismissal in writing detailing the reasons for the dismissal, the date on which the employment contract will end, the appropriate period of notice, their right to appeal and details of how long the dismissal record will be kept by the setting. For gross misconduct you may be able to dismiss immediately without giving notice or pay in lieu of notice. However disciplinary procedures should still be adhered to. Should I have written dismissal procedures? All employers must set out their dismissal procedures in writing and you should also make sure all your staff are aware of these procedures. Failure to follow any of the above can result in your employee seeking legal action for unfair dismissal. An example disciplinary and dismissal policy can be found online. What is a summary dismissal? A summary dismissal is the instant dismissal of an employee without notice or pay in lieu of notice. This would usually be because they have committed an act of gross misconduct. This type of dismissal is usually only deemed as fair if the employee engaged in gross misconduct in front of witnesses and there was no reasonable explanation for their actions or mitigating circumstances. However it is more favourable under these circumstances to suspend on full pay and then investigate the circumstances first following your dismissal and disciplinary procedures, this can avoid an employee seeking legal action for unfair dismissal. Can I dismiss due to an employee s lack of capability? Sometimes an employee is incapable of doing their job to the required standard. This may be due to them not having the right skills or aptitude for the job or they become ill and are unable to work or work properly whilst at work. - 12

13 When looking at an employee s lack of capability, you should first offer further support and training to your employee to help them improve or offer another suitable job. If, after taking informal action, they don't improve and their poor performance continues to affect your setting, you might then consider formal disciplinary action. Can I dismiss due to an employee s ill health? Before dismissing them for ill health reasons, you should consider as many ways as possible of helping the employee back to work, in this case dismissal should be treated as a last resort and could be seen as unfair if not handled properly. Long-term absence or the inability to attend work consistently because of chronic ill health is among the most difficult problems for an employer to deal with. If an employee is suffering from chronic ill health, it is very important that you determine whether or not they are disabled under the Disability Discrimination Act Further information on this act can be found at An employee is disabled for the purposes of the Act if their illness has a substantial, long-term and adverse effect on their ability to undertake normal day-to-day activities, if they have been diagnosed with cancer, HIV or multiple sclerosis. People with mental illnesses are also disabled under the Act. If the employee is disabled, you have a duty under the Act to make reasonable adjustments to your premises and working practices. If you fail to make reasonable adjustments for a disabled employee, they could take a claim of disability discrimination to an employment tribunal. However, dismissal may have to be considered if an employee has an illness which results in long-term absence or persistent short-term absences and there are no reasonable adjustments that can be made to allow the employee to continue working. In this case it may be fair for you to dismiss the employee, even if they are disabled. The dismissal should treated sensitivity and you should also act fairly and reasonably. Can I dismiss due to an employee s conduct? You can consider dismissing an employee on conduct grounds if they can do their job but are unwilling or reluctant to do it properly or if they commit some form of misconduct, i.e. they do something that breaches your disciplinary rules. When looking at an employee s conduct, you should first have a 'quiet word' with them to make them aware that you have noticed their poor performance. If, after taking informal action, they do not improve and their conduct issue continues to affect your setting, you might then consider formal disciplinary action. However, if you find that an employee has been involved in an incident of misconduct, the action you take depends on how serious it was. For example: If the misconduct was a one-off and the employee has a good disciplinary record, a verbal warning may be enough. If the misconduct was one of a series of incidents, you may have to give a final written warning or hold a full disciplinary hearing If it's gross misconduct, e.g. fighting or stealing, you could dismiss immediately. However, it's best practice to not do this but instead suspend them on full pay, investigate the incident further and then decide whether or not to begin formal disciplinary action. - 13

14 Do I need to give my employee notice if they are dismissed? In all dismissal cases, other than summary dismissals, you will need to give the employee the period of notice set out in their employment contract. If you do not wish them to work out their notice period, you can either: allow them to leave immediately but with a payment up to the date they would have left (known as a payment in lieu of notice (PILON)) or continue paying them up to the date when the notice period ends but ask them to stay home and not to do any work (known as garden leave). What should be included in an employee s final pay? The final payment to an employee must include their normal pay up to the date of termination pay for any untaken accrued annual leave all bonuses, overtime and/or benefits calculated up to the date of termination Should I document the dismissal? You should ensure you keep records of all dismissals made. These records should include details of breach of disciplinary rules, the action taken, the reasons for the action, whether an appeal was lodged and the outcome of the appeal. These records should be kept for 6 years after the employment ceases and must be kept confidential. The employee should be informed on how long these will be kept on file. What do I need to provide if an employee asks for the reasons for their dismissal? If an employee asks to have the reasons for their dismissal in writing, you must provide the information within 14 days of their request (if they have at least one year's service). Do I still need to provide a reference for a dismissed employee? After making a dismissal, you may be asked to provide a reference on or after the termination of an employee's employment. If you choose to complete a reference, you should ensure it is true, accurate and fair to avoid potential legal action by either the employee or the new employer. - 14

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