3 HELLO! Mark Mortimer MBE Human Resource Adviser Plymouth City Council Wendy Wood Assistant Human Resource Adviser Plymouth City Council
4 TODAY House Keeping Introductions Aim and objectives Discipline Grievances Share experience
5 DISCLAIMER The information contained within this presentation is for guidance only. This presentation is to provide information and reflects our understanding of legislation at the time of writing. We do not accept any responsibility for any results obtained from the use of this information, expressed or implied. As such, it should not be used as a substitute for legal advice. Before making a decision or taking any action you should consult with your legal adviser.
6 HOUSEKEEPING Fire Alarms Mobile Phones Toilets Breaks Q & A
7 INTRODUCTIONS Who are you? Company? Role in the company? What do you hope to get from this session?
8 AIM & OBJECTIVES Aim - To coach managers to operate and apply a disciplinary/grievance procedure. To appreciate the need to set standards To know when to discipline To know how to proceed To know what to consider To appreciate the legal framework To learn from stories
9 WHY DISCIPLINE? Rules are observed Standards are maintained Methods of dealing with shortcomings in performance or conduct Help an undisciplined or poorly performing employee to become effective Potentially reduce the need for dismissals ACAS Code
10 WHEN TO DISCIPLINE Distinguish small d and big D discipline Overturning established behaviour is often resented Always deal with potential or actual breaches of discipline on the first occasion Use disciplinary procedures if problem persists
11 ESSENTIALS OF DISCIPLINE Immediate and specific Investigation Hold meeting (hearing) Consequences On-going support Right of appeal
12 MISUSES OF DISCIPLINE To establish, change or reintroduce rules To deal with collective or group problems To enhance personal or sectional power To teach employees the rules To use someone as an example to others
13 CONSISTENCY Between sites Between employees Between occasions Between penalty
14 ESSENTIAL FEATURES OF A DISCIPLINARY PROCESS Dealt with quickly Policy & Procedure must be in writing Specify to whom policy & procedures apply Specify the level of management which have the authority to take disciplinary action Provide for individuals to be informed of the complaints against them and to state their case before decisions are reached
15 ESSENTIAL FEATURES OF A DISCIPLINARY PROCESS(Contd.) Give individuals the right to be accompanied by a fellow employee of their choice or an accredited Trade Union representative Ensure that disciplinary action is not taken until the case has been carefully investigated Ensure that except for gross misconduct, no employees are dismissed for a first breach of discipline Explanation for any penalty imposed Provide right of appeal
16 DISCIPLINARY ACTION Reasonable belief balance of probability Concrete proof of guilt is not essential BUT
17 DISCIPLINARY ACTION Employer must have: Genuine belief Reasonable grounds Followed a reasonable investigation Concluded, on the balance of probability, that the employee has committed an act of misconduct
18 FAIR REASON FOR DISMISSAL Conduct Capability Redundancy Statutory Restriction (i.e. driving ban in a driving job) Some Other Substantial Reason (SOSR)
19 TEST OF FAIRNESS The determination of whether the dismissal was fair or unfair shall depend on whether in the circumstances (having regard to the size and administrative resources of the employer s undertaking) the employer acted reasonably or unreasonably in treating it as sufficient reason for dismissing the employee and that question shall be determined in accordance with equity and the substantial merits of the case
20 GROSS MISCONDUCT Behaviour on the part of the employee which is incompatible with continued employment Entitles employer to dismiss without notice Does not mean a dismissal without a fair procedure
21 EXAMPLES OF GROSS MISCONDUCT Theft from company or colleague Deliberate falsification of claims for financial reimbursement with the intention of obtaining from the company a payment to which the claimant is not entitled Fighting Drunkenness Serious breaches of safety rules Serious breach of child protection procedures Damaging company property
22 EXAMPLES OF GROSS MISCONDUCT (CONTD) Refusing to obey a reasonable management instruction Sexual or racial harassment Serious insubordination Bring the company into serious disrepute The above list is not exhaustive
23 CAPABILITY PERFORMANCE CASES Conduct is deliberate, blameworthy or careless Incapability is usually a lack of skill or ability What is the evidence of poor performance? How long has the performance been unsatisfactory? Consider training, redeployment, demotion Make warning sufficiently long to give time to improve Monitor during warnings
24 INVESTIGATIONS Independent, fair and objective investigation Evidence from witness/es Obtain written, signed statements Person conducting the investigation should not be directly involved in any subsequent disciplinary hearing Separate workshop on conducting investigations on request
25 ARRANGE A MEETING (HEARING) Completed investigations? Arrange meeting in private Consider location of meeting room Advise employee give details so they can prepare Plan the timing at least 48 hours notice Arrange for a company representative to be present as a note taker and witness for the company
26 NATURAL JUSTICE A right to be informed of the case against the employee o Allegations o Supporting evidence A right to make representations before a decision is made o Challenging evidence o Arguments on rules etc.
27 NATURAL JUSTICE (Contd.) A right to an unbiased hearing o Open mind o Previous involvement
28 CONDUCTING A DISCIPLINARY MEETING (HEARING) Statement of complaint (allegations) Employees reply General questioning Summary ALWAYS Adjournment to consider Decision
29 CONSIDERATIONS Only if on the basis of the evidence you believe employee has committed offence Is offence defined in policy/procedure? Have other employees committed similar act(s)? Are there mitigating/exacerbating circumstances? Misconduct? - Warnings Serious misconduct? dismissal with notice Gross misconduct? summary dismissal No employee to be dismissed for first breach of discipline unless gross misconduct
30 FOLLOW UP Reconvene Advise a decision verbally Confirm right of appeal Written confirmation
31 APPEALS PROCESS Procedure Grounds for Appeal Independent person not previously involved to hear appeal Conclusions Feedback
32 HOW TO AVOID EMPLOYMENT TRIBUNAL Treat all employees in the same way Follow up possible disciplinary action quickly Know, observe and follow your disciplinary procedure Keep records carefully Do not dismiss unless gross misconduct or current final warning exists Use the appeal process
33 DISCIPLINARY RULES (CONTD ) Gross Misconduct The contract has irretrievably broken down Dismissal without notice Did they know they could lose their job? Have they signed their contract to confirm they have read and understood the handbook in which the disciplinary rules are contained?
34 LET S TAKE A BREAK
35 WELCOME BACK
36 GRIEVANCES It is important that employees have a vehicle through which they can raise matters of concern and dissatisfaction in relation to their employment. They should know, through the detail of their statement of main terms/contact of employment, the procedure that they should follow. Attempts should be made to resolve informally in the first instance mediation may assist.
37 GRIEVANCE RAISED DURING DISCIPLINARY? Consider suspending the disciplinary procedure for a short period while the grievance is dealt with. Consider bringing in another manager to deal with Consider bringing in another manager to deal with the disciplinary process.
38 TYPICAL GRIEVANCE PROCEDURE Grievance policy and procedure has the same format as discipline policy and procedure Typical procedure: o Discuss problem with manager o Discuss problem with managers superior (as appropriate) o Refer problem to grievance meeting (hearing)
39 EMPLOYEE ASSISTANCE PROGRAMME (EAP) Benefits to your organisation Having an EAP is a clear demonstration of a commitment to employee well-being. Happier employees with healthier attitudes and better wellbeing are able to focus more effectively at work, have higher morale and are more engaged. It also supports you as a manager, team leader or supervisor, as more demands are placed upon you and improves the management of absenteeism by addressing individuals concerns or problems early.
40 EMPLOYEE ASSISTANCE PROGRAMME (EAP) (Contd.) Staffed by professionals Your EAP is provided by Workplace Options, an expert provider of employee support services. Staff comprise a team of highly trained and qualified professionals who are experts in fields such as well-being, family matters, relationships, debt management, employment issues, consumer rights, counselling, and much more.
41 EMPLOYEE ASSISTANCE PROGRAMME (EAP) (Contd.) Available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week 365 days a year Confidential - No-one at work will know that an individual has contacted EAP unless they choose to disclose this. Accessible by a variety of methods - including phone, , our website and via instant messaging.
42 EMPLOYEE ASSISTANCE PROGRAMME (EAP) (Contd.) Informative - Information and resources on a whole range of work, family and personal issues. No limit - to the number of issues you can gain support on. Independent -completely impartial.
43 CASE STUDY ONE You come in on Tuesday morning to be told by another manager that two members of your team had a heated argument on their way out last night. Apparently Gary bought a car from Tony but is now refusing to pay all the money as he thinks there is something wrong with the car. Gary comes into work with a black eye. You ask him what happened and he said Tony punched him downstairs at reception. The incident has been reported to the police. Tony is due in soon, what action are you going to take?
44 CASE STUDY TWO You dismiss someone during a Disciplinary Hearing and whilst you are confident of the decision you have made, you neglected to follow correct procedure and did not conduct an investigation prior to the hearing. The employee seeks advice from a solicitor. What can the employee claim against the company?
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