Disciplinary Pitfalls

Disciplinary Pitfalls

  • Date: Friday 25th November 2016

Personnel Today published an article this month, reminding employers that conducting disciplinaries should be taken seriously:



All too often, employers still believe that simply handing somebody a letter constitutes an official warning.


Don’t forget that, in order for this warning to fulfil statutory requirements, you have to at least follow the minimum process, as recommended in the ACAS Code of Practice:



If your internal procedure goes over and above these criteria, you must follow your own rules.


Following the announcement that workers with less than two years service cannot claim unfair dismissal, many employers also neglected to conduct thorough investigations and meetings before dismissing short service staff. Recent case-law has addressed this and employers are now reminded that, regardless how long somebody has been employed by you, a fair process must still be followed.


In regards to under-performance, this may mean that you don’t have to go through the whole four step capability review process. But equally, simply telling somebody they are dismissed without giving them the opportunity to improve may be an unlawful breach of contract in that no reasonable process was followed.

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