Employers often require to deal with misconduct. It is essential that the correct procedures are followed. If they are not, a claim for unfair dismissal to an employment tribunal may follow and eventual compensation awarded may be increased by up to 25%. This can result in:
- Financial penalty - the compensatory award limit is now £74,200.
- Adverse publicity.
- Unnecessary time wasted.
Where action for gross misconduct is required the following should be observed:
- Do not sack.
- Suspend on full pay.
- Follow the written disciplinary and ACAS codes to the letter.
- Take legal advice!
A suitable procedure will include the following:
- Fix a disciplinary hearing and give written notice to the employee. Warn the employee if appropriate that dismissal may be an outcome of the procedure.
- Allow representation for the employee.
- Fully investigate the circumstances (in disciplinary matters where possible this should be by a party who will not be conducting the disciplinary hearing).
- Provide witness statements where appropriate.
- Consider alternatives to dismissal in appropriate circumstances (e.g. written warning, demotion, etc.).
- Advise the employee in writing of the decision.
- Give the employee a right of appeal.