Managing a disciplinary and grievance can be both stressful and daunting. procedures in place. As well as being a requirement
of the law, they serve to protect both employers and employees should either
the need for disciplinary action or a grievance arise. Not following correct
protocol could be costly and may lead to an unfair
dismissal claim, with the potential compensation pay-out.
HR expert state some important facts on their website: "Be aware of the different situations in which an employee who is subject to the disciplinary procedure may raise a grievance". "Appreciate that the key issue is likely to be whether or not you handle the disciplinary issue fairly, taking into account the nature of the employee's grievance and the way it is dealt with". "Note that there is no legal requirement to postpone a disciplinary process in order to deal with a grievance raised by the employee".
As HR Practitioners, we can support the total process with knowledge of HR Legislation, and practical experience having undertaken many cases ourselves over the course of our careers.
DISCIPLINARY AND GRIEVANCE SERVICES. On all boards you will need a designated chairperson. If the need for a formal grievance procedure arises, an appropriate chairperson will need to oversee the meeting and we can be this person for you. Sometimes an individual’s line manager will chair it and this maybe totally inappropriate if the subject is of a sensitive nature, or the complaint is about the manager. We do recommend that you create a senior member pool to deal with these matters and also provide an escalation route.
Confidentiality throughout the process is of the upmost of importance. Employees concerned and those who serve as witnesses should be made aware that they are not permitted to discuss the issue with anyone else. Investigation are fact-finding exercise are it is critical to collate all relevant information relating to the grievance or disciplinary. This stage is essential to establish the facts. Interviews with witnesses may be required, in which notes should be taken. Other steps such as reviewing CCTV, computer or phone records may also be required. Hold a grievance meeting. It is important that a meeting is held as soon as possible, after the issue has been raised. It may be necessary to adjourn it until further investigations are carried out.
The right to be accompanied is important to employees. Employees should be made aware that they have the right to be accompanied at both disciplinary and grievance meetings. Often this is a trade union representative or a work colleague of the employee’s choice. When reaching a decision the panel should carefully consider all information and arrive at a fair and reasonable outcome. The employee should be made aware of the decision taken in writing. So, in the case of a disciplinary process they should be advised if a warning is being issued, what level, the duration of the warning and the improvement expected. In the case of a grievance process, the employee should be informed of the outcome of their complaints and what action will be taken to resolve the matter. In either case, the employee should also be made aware that they have the right to appeal. Appeals if possible, should be chaired by someone who is more senior to the person who chaired the previous meeting, and who has not been involved in the process so far, and therefore deemed impartial. Again, employees have the right to be accompanied. We can support you throughout this process.