Disciplinary, Grievance & Performance Issues for Employers

Whether an employee is performing poorly at work; you have concerns regarding misconduct or a complaint has been raised about how an employee has been treated in the workplace, having clear and concise policies and procedures in place will ensure that the issue is handled appropriately and effectively.

Disciplinary, performance and grievance issues in the workplace can be tricky to manage, especially when they take employers away from the day-to-day running of their business. Our specialist employment solicitors are here to help you establish and adhere to comprehensive disciplinary and grievance procedures. At Analysis Legal, we have the expertise and experience to ensure that your business handles any such issues in line with both your internal procedures and the standards established by the Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service (ACAS).

Our solicitors can provide professional advice tailored to your circumstances and business needs, helping you resolve disciplinary and grievance issues quickly and effectively. If you would like to learn more about how we can help your business run smoothly, please do not hesitate to contact us.


What is a Disciplinary Procedure?

A disciplinary procedure provides a framework that an employer must follow if there are concerns regarding an employee’s conduct at work.

It is a statutory requirement that employees’ contracts of employment set out details of any applicable disciplinary rules, together with any procedure applicable to the taking of disciplinary decisions/decisions to dismiss.  Likewise, employees should be signposted to a person to whom they can apply if they are dissatisfied with any disciplinary decision or decision to dismiss or if they wish to seek redress of a grievance.  It is possible to refer employees to a “reasonably accessible” document such as a staff handbook for further details of any such procedures. As an employer, it is recommended that you follow the ACAS code on disciplinary procedures to ensure that you are operating within the relevant employment legislation.

Disciplinary procedures must be fair, transparent and include the following steps:

Investigation – Where there are concerns regarding an employee’s conduct, an investigation should be carried out to gather any relevant supporting information. Investigations should enable the employer to form a fair and balanced view of the facts before deciding whether to take the matter to the next stage of the disciplinary procedure.

Hearing –  If a decision is taken to proceed to a disciplinary hearing, the employee should be invited to a formal hearing to discuss the situation; the employee has the right to be accompanied to the hearing by a colleague or trade union representative. The employee should be notified about the likely range of consequences, including, if relevant, the fact that dismissal could be a possible outcome of the hearing. The employee should be informed of the outcome of the disciplinary hearing in writing and of their right to appeal the decision.

Appeal – If the employee appeals the decision of the disciplinary hearing, an appeal hearing should be held at a mutually convenient time. Again, the employee may attend with a colleague or trade union representative. The decision made after an appeal hearing is usually the final decision and may not be further appealed.

Ensuring that you handle the disciplinary procedure appropriately can be a worry for some employers. There are many factors to consider, and you should ensure you operate within the relevant employment legislation. That is where we come in; at Analysis Legal, our highly qualified and experienced employment solicitors can help you successfully navigate each step of the disciplinary procedure.


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What is a Grievance Procedure?

A grievance procedure is a formal process whereby employees may raise any concerns, complaints or disputes relating to their employment that they cannot resolve informally with their manager.

As with any disciplinary procedure, your grievance procedure should be available in writing to all employees, for instance, by including it in the company handbook. There are several steps that should be followed with a grievance procedure, including:

  • Bringing a complaint – When an employee has an issue that cannot be resolved with an informal meeting, they should present it to a specified colleague, usually their manager, in writing in order to begin the grievance process.
  • Meeting – Once an employer, or manager acting on their behalf, has been made aware of the issue, a meeting should be set up to discuss the matter in more detail. The employee may be accompanied to the meeting by a co-worker or a trade union representative.
  • Investigation – An investigation should be carried out in order to gather all the available evidence, such as security video footage, witness statements, emails, text messages etc.
  • Conclusion – Once the evidence has been collated, it should be assessed, and a decision should be made. This decision should then be communicated in writing to the employee.
  • Appeal – If the employee is dissatisfied with the grievance decision, they may appeal the decision.

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What Happens if a Grievance Cannot be Resolved?

If you cannot resolve a grievance in the first instance, there are several measures that a company can take to reach a resolution. One option is to use a neutral third party for mediation; this can be particularly beneficial when the grievance is due to a breakdown in interpersonal relationships within the business.

Unresolved grievances can negatively affect an organisation’s productivity, staff retention and morale. We advise employers to take all reasonable measures to resolve complaints at the earliest and most informal stage possible. If you need help achieving a resolution, our expert team of employment solicitors are here for you.


What is a Performance Improvement Plan?

A performance improvement plan (PIP) is a process employers can use when an employee is not performing to the expected standard. It sets out in writing what steps should be taken.

An effective PIP should include the following:

  • Clear and objective details about the areas for improvement
  • Details of the expected improvement using measurable objectives
  • Details of any training or support to be provided to the employee
  • Clear and fair timescales and frequency of reviews
  • Clear sanctions to be implemented if the employee fails to improve within the agreed timescale

Contact Analysis Legal Today

At Analysis Legal, we are a team of specialist Employment Law Solicitors in Manchester. We are experts in advising organisations and businesses all over the UK, from our office in Stockport related to matters involving employment law for employers.

We pride ourselves on our excellent level of client service, which focuses on the needs and requirement of your business. We are industry-leading experts for managers, HR representatives and business owners.

Analysis Legal understands your business, your requirements, and your values. We focus on this so that we can provide you the best service that is possible. We understand that every business is different, which is why all of our advice is tailored to your specific needs.

Please do not hesitate to contact us if you require any advice or guidance with establishing a performance improvement plan within your organisation.

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