Staff disciplinary procedures

Going through a Disciplinary process with one of your employees is stressful and can be very disruptive, especially at a small business. It is important to follow the correct legal procedure, but following all the steps from first formal warning to a final written warning can seem very slow and cumbersome especially in a small business when you just want to get on with serving customers and looking after the rest of your team.

However, each step of a disciplinary process is there for a reason, and you really should go through them properly. Not just so you can effectively manage the dismissal of staff (should it come to that), but also to keep yourself protected against any unexpected claims later on.

The disciplinary process

What makes up a disciplinary process? We suggest thinking about it in these distinct stages:

  • Establish the facts, decide how serious it is, and if necessary invite the employee to a formal meeting with you to discuss it
  • Give them reasonable notice and all the information about the alleged misconduct and the potential outcome in advance of the meeting
  • Have the meeting, covering all the relevant information and evidence, and giving the employee a chance to respond to the allegations and evidence
  • Have a break, (literally pause the meeting to allow you time to think) and decide whether there was misconduct (or gross misconduct), and if so what action you will take. Then confirm your decision and then put it in writing to the employee
  • Inform the employee of their right to appeal, and follow an appeals process if necessary

It’s certainly not something you’ll want to be doing all the time, and there’s more to each step than we have space for here. Getting these processes right can save you valuable time and money when dismissing staff. And the sooner it is sorted the better, so your business can get back to work, hopefully more efficiently than before.

How we can help

Our HR support service is designed for UK small businesses, and will help you manage disciplinaries the right way. We provide full documentation and reminders for every step of the process, and you can talk to our fully qualified HR consultants over the phone whenever you want to. They have been through lots of these before, and can give you clear, calm advice to help you at each stage.

And even better, our HR support service starts at only £50 per month + VAT – delivering great value for you with all the HR support you need so you can get on with running your business and stop worrying about your HR.

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