Disciplinary Policy. Review date: December Revision date: December Date of meeting: 12 January 2015

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1 Disciplinary Policy Originator: Jane Doughty Review date: December 2014 Revision date: December 2017 Approved by: Personnel Committee Date of meeting: 12 January 2015 Name of Chairman: Marion Miles Approved by: Board of Trustees Date of meeting: 26 February 2015 Name of Chairman: Adrian Williams

2 Contents 1. Policy Statement Introduction Responsibilities and Accountability Procedures and Implementation Related St Nicholas Hospice Care Policies / Guidelines Monitoring and Review Statutory Compliance and Evidence Referenced Appendices... 8 Page 2 of 8

3 1. Policy Statement St Nicholas Hospice Care (the Hospice) is committed to the highest standards of professional conduct and working relationships. The Hospice will treat all its employees with integrity and fairness and expects its employees to respond by maintaining high standards of conduct, attendance and job performance. Where such standards are not maintained, the Hospice will ensure that such behaviour is challenged and appropriately dealt with in a fair and straightforward manner so that the quality of services provided to those who use them, and the standards observed by other members of the Hospice community, are not compromised. The Hospice is an independent charity delivering specialist palliative care to patients and their families within the communities of West Suffolk and Thetford. Care is delivered by a specially trained multidisciplinary team supported by a large team of volunteers to patients within our Sylvan Ward, Community Hospice Team, Orchard and Burton Centres. The organisation also includes an Education Department that delivers palliative care education to the local community, a Fundraising Department that manages a range of fundraising activities and a Retail Section with several shops in the local community staffed by paid staff and volunteers. 2. Introduction The Hospice s Disciplinary Policy, has been designed to provide a clear and transparent framework to deal with difficulties which may arise as part of the working relationship between employer and employee. They are necessary to ensure that everybody is treated in the same way in similar circumstances, to ensure issues are dealt with fairly and reasonably and that they are compliant with current legislation. Disciplinary procedures are needed: To ensure that the employee understands what is expected of them in terms of standards of performance or conduct (and the likely consequences of continued failure to meet these standards). To identify obstacles to employees achieving the required standards (e.g. training needs, lack of clarity of job requirements, additional support needed) and take appropriate action. As an opportunity to agree suitable goals and timescales for improvement in an individual's performance or conduct. As a point of reference for an employment tribunal should someone make a complaint about the way they have been dismissed. This Disciplinary Policy is used to deal with misconduct, attendance (not related to ill health) and wilful or deliberate poor performance. It does not apply to cases involving genuine sickness absence or proposed redundancies. In those cases reference should be made to the appropriate policy or procedure. Page 3 of 8

4 3. Responsibilities and Accountability 3.1 Chief Executive Officer The Chief Executive Officer has ultimate responsibility for the implementation of this policy. The CEO will ensure that this policy is approved by the Board of Trustees. 3.2 Personnel Director The Hospice s Disciplinary Policy was developed by the Personnel Director in conjunction with the Personnel Committee and Trustees of the Hospice and covers all employees of the Hospice. 3.3 Personnel Committee The Personnel Committee will review and recommend to the Board of Trustees any changes or updates to this policy. 3.4 Employees and Volunteers This Disciplinary Policy does not form part of any employee's contract of employment and it may be amended at any time. The Hospice may also vary this procedure, including any time limits, as appropriate in any case. Disciplinary Policy and Procedures for Volunteers of the Hospice are covered separately under a Volunteer Policy. 3.5 The Staff Forum will be consulted on any changes to this policy. 4. Procedures and Implementation 4.1 General All employees will have access to a copy of this Policy, and updates or amendments will be notified via a range of communication processes i.e. Network, Staff Notice boards, team briefing sessions and electronic systems etc. The Hospice will try to resolve disciplinary issues in a timely and positive manner, mindful of the pressure such procedures may place on those involved, directly or indirectly. Disciplinary action will only be taken after careful consideration of the facts and appropriate investigation of the alleged incident or conduct. No employee will be dismissed for a first and isolated offence unless it is for behaviour that is considered gross misconduct by the Hospice, or in some circumstances if the employee is within their probationary period. Page 4 of 8

5 The dignity of all employees involved in disciplinary investigations and action will be respected throughout and after the disciplinary procedure, with all statements and records kept confidential except for any statutory obligation placed on the Hospice by legitimate external agencies e.g. Her Majesty s Crown Prosecution Service, H M Revenue & Customs, Disclosure and Barring Service, or as otherwise required by law. There may be circumstances in which disclosure is necessary to adequately investigate allegations. In such circumstances the employee will be informed of such a requirement. The Hospice will report to relevant authorities or governing bodies e.g. GMC, NMC, DBS etc, Practitioners who have been suspended on clinical or professional grounds, or practitioners whose practising privileges have been suspended, restricted or withdrawn on professional or clinical grounds There may be circumstances in which disclosure is necessary to adequately investigate allegations. In such circumstances the employee will be informed of such a requirement. The Hospice will report to relevant authorities or governing bodies e.g. GMC, NMC, DBS etc, Practitioners who have been suspended on clinical or professional grounds, or practitioners whose practising privileges have been suspended, restricted or withdrawn on professional or clinical grounds. 4.2 Procedures Discipline should normally be voluntary and self-imposed and in the great majority of cases this is how it works. However, it may from time to time be necessary to take action concerning employees whose behaviour and performance are held to fall below acceptable standards. In such cases the procedure detailed below will be followed. a) Informal Warnings Minor breaches by employees of the Hospice s discipline, misconduct or performance standards will normally be dealt with informally by their Line Manager. A note of any informal warning will be made on the employee s personnel file but will be ignored for the purposes of any future disciplinary hearings. This is not regarded as part of the formal disciplinary procedure and dependent on the circumstances of the case more than one such warning may take place before formal disciplinary procedures begin. If an employee fails to respond to informal discussion and guidance, the disciplinary procedure will be invoked. Where the breach is principally a performance issue and the capability of an employee to do their job or part of it is in question the Capability Policy will apply. Page 5 of 8

6 b) Formal Warnings. The formal disciplinary procedure has 3 stages however the Hospice reserves the right to omit stage(s) 1 and 2 of the procedure where it considers it appropriate to do so. However the Personnel Director must be consulted before any formal disciplinary action is considered. Stage 1 Written Warning Repeated minor breaches or the first instance of a more serious issue may result in a formal written warning being given at Formal Warning Stage 1. Written confirmation of the warning will be issued to the employee detailing the reason for the warning, the improvement required and the timescale under which the issue will be monitored. A copy of the letter will be placed on the employees file. Written Warnings will normally be considered spent after 6 months, provided there has been no repeat of the breach. Examples of behaviour, which may lead to such a warning are listed in appendix 1, although this list is not meant to be exhaustive. Stage 2 Final Written Warning Repeated breaches at the preceding level, or a more serious issue, may result in a Final Written Warning -Stage 2 being given. Written confirmation of the warning will be issued to the employee detailing the reason for the warning, the improvement required and the timescale under which the issue will be monitored. A copy of the letter will be placed on the employee s file. Final Written Warnings will normally be disregarded at subsequent disciplinary hearings after 12 months, provided there has been no repeat of the breach. In exceptional circumstances verging on gross misconduct, a final written warning may state that it will remain active indefinitely. Subsequent removal will be at the discretion of the Line Manager in consultation with the Personnel Director. Stage 3 Dismissal Dismissal with notice Repeated breaches at the preceding level or a more serious issue may result in Dismissal with Notice Stage 3 being given. Written confirmation of the outcome of this hearing will be issued to the employee detailing the reason for the action. A copy of the letter will be placed on the employee s file. Dismissal without notice (Summary Dismissal) If after investigation, the employee is considered guilty of an act of Gross Misconduct, the resulting action will normally be summary dismissal without notice or pay in lieu of notice. Acts which might lead to this decision are listed in Appendix 1. This list is not meant to be exhaustive. c) Suspension An employee may be suspended, with pay, while the circumstances of any complaint are investigated. The suspension will be for no longer than is necessary to investigate the allegations and the Hospice will confirm the arrangements to the employee in writing. Suspension of this kind is not a disciplinary penalty and does not imply that any decision has already been made about the allegations. Page 6 of 8

7 d) Appeal Procedures Employees have the right of appeal after any formal disciplinary action including dismissal. Any appeal must be made in writing within 7 calendar days (first written warnings) or 14 calendar days (final written and dismissal) of the date of the written confirmation of action, and should include the reasons for the appeal. The employee should indicate in writing whether they will be accompanied by a union representative or work colleague, identifying their name and work location. Appeal hearings can uphold the previous decision, or overturn it for an alternative decision, which may or may not be in the favour of the employee. e) The Right to Be Accompanied Employees have the statutory right to be accompanied by a fellow worker or a trained trade union official when they are required to attend disciplinary hearings. An employee wishing to be accompanied must make a reasonable request to be accompanied and this request will be accommodated subject to the achievement of a timely process and the agreement of the fellow worker or trade union official to attend. The person accompanying the employee is permitted to address the meeting and confer with the employee during the meeting but cannot answer questions on behalf of the employee. f) Termination within the Probationary Period For new recruits continued employment is subject to satisfactory completion of the probationary period, competent performance is assessed through regular reviews during this period. The Hospice may, subject to the particular circumstances of the case, reserve the right to move immediately to stage 3 of this procedure. An employee within the probationary period and subject to a disciplinary procedure would still have the right to appeal any decision made. 5. Related Policies Dignity at Work Policy Equal Opportunities Policy Acceptance of Gifts Policy Grievance Policy Sickness and Absence Policy Capability Policy Re-Mediation Procedures (medical) 6. Monitoring and Review This policy and associated procedures will be reviewed by the Hospice at no more than 3 yearly intervals, unless an earlier review is required e.g. due to changes in legislation. Page 7 of 8

8 7. Statutory Compliance and Evidence The procedure complies with the ACAS Code of practice on Discipline and Grievance Procedures (April 2009) but is subject to review in the light of future legislation. Any review will be made in consultation with the Trustees of the Hospice and in line with present and future employment legislation. ACAS Code of Practice on Disciplinary and Grievance Procedures (April 2009), Employment Act 2008, Chartered Institute of Personnel & Development Code of Professional Conduct. General Medical; Council (Licence to Practise and Revalidation) Regulations Order of Council Appendices The appendix can be found in the SNHC S:Drive Appendix 1. Hospice Disciplinary Rules. Page 8 of 8

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