defined by the Employment Rights Act, there are five possible causes for
dismissal and these are listed as per below:
other substantial reason
The first step in carrying out a disciplinary
situation is to follow the basic principles of the Acas Code of Practice:
Disciplinary and Grievance Procedures. The rules and procedures developed in
the handling of these cases must be clear, fair and transparent and adhered to all
at times throughout the process. In all instances employers should act
consistently, promptly and investigate and establish all facts before informing
an employee of the problem.
In situations where an employee’s capability
to perform a job adequately is an issue, then it is of the view that the
employer seeks to discuss what additional support/ training etc is required to
bring them up to the relevant level of performance. Time needs to be given to
allow the employee adequate time to improve before any warning is issued – at
least two warnings must be issued before any dismissal is considered.
Issues of conduct are separated into two
categories – misconduct and gross misconduct, which means there are two
different procedures to be followed when investigating. Misconduct covers less
serious issues, for example, poor attendance or performance. In this situation
the same procedure for capability issues should be followed, with the aim of
supporting the employee in progressing to the necessary standard. If the
situation does not improve over a reasonable timeframe, warnings are to be
issued and dismissal to take place if no improvement has been made.
Gross misconduct is for all serious acts,
such as violence, gross negligence, theft etc and as long as a fair procedure
is followed, an instant dismissal should occur whilst investigations commence.
Upon completion of investigations, time should be allowed for the employee to
respond before deciding to dismiss.
Once investigations have been completed, a
decision on whether it merits a disciplinary meeting will be made and the
employee to be informed of this in writing. Sufficient evidence of the
allegations in question must be provided, along with any other relevant
documentation. Employees are
entitled to be accompanied at most disciplinary and grievance hearings by a
fellow worker or a trade union official of their choice, provided they make a
reasonable request to be accompanied (Acas, 2018). A decision on the suitable
action to be taken needs to be discussed and the employee to be informed in
writing and a right to appeal provided. Acts deemed as gross misconduct warrant
an instant dismissal without notice, providing a fair procedure was followed
throughout for it to be considered lawful.
All of the above, as per the Acas Code of
Practice: Disciplinary and Grievance Procedures need to be followed to ensure a
clear process which are dealt with satisfactorily and fairly by those carrying
out the investigations this will ultimately decrease the chances of employees
raising an unfair dismissal claim.