These procedures may also take into account the ACAS Code of Conduct for Disciplinary and Complaints Procedures and other advice on ACAS best practices to ensure that employers do not violate these standards, which could result in higher compensation if successful claims before labour courts are filed. This right arises only in the context of complaint hearings or a disciplinary hearing, which could lead to the following: Complaints generally include contractual rights or benefits that the union or employee believes have been violated by the employer. Some of the most common types of complaints arising from collective agreements include overtime or compensatory matters. Health and safety issues. Payment of salaries. It has long been known that an employer can dismiss an employee in disguise if it does not take reasonable steps to respond to an employee`s complaint. Failure to do so is a violation of the implied obligation to maintain trust. In accordance with this principle, the Labour Court held in the present case that, in the absence of a binding contractual procedure, the employer is obliged, when dealing with a complaint, to give the worker the opportunity to lodge his complaint, to have the complaint heard and to examine it appropriately. In the opinion of the Labour Court, no established procedure should be followed. In addition, even if an employer states in a manual that some or all policies are non-contractual in nature, the policies may be considered contractual if other circumstances, such as habit and practice, support this fact. Employees may have seen in their employment contract or in the company`s disciplinary proceedings that it is stated that the process is not contractual. Whether it is a contractual or non-contractual policy, employers must always follow the essential elements of their disciplinary procedures in exceptional cases.
Similarly, complaint procedures should address concerns arising from the employment relationship. Many employers opt for a separate anti-bullying and harassment policy, and it is advisable that concerns related to allegations of illegal activity or misconduct be expressed as part of a whistleblowing process. Where such measures exist, the complaints procedure should clearly define which issues are to be dealt with in those alternative procedures and which are appropriate for the complaints procedure. If an employer contractually requires disciplinary proceedings, they may require employees to cooperate in the proceeding, as an employee`s refusal to participate constitutes a breach of contract. It will also help create security for both the employer and employee and ensure that both parties are aware of their rights and obligations with respect to the procedure. Compliance with appropriate procedures in the context of employment is often essential – not only to avoid, for example, unjustified dismissals in general, but also to avoid upgrades (up to 25%) of the compensation awarded by the Labour Court in the event of unfair dismissal and other claims that reflect an unreasonable violation of the requirements of the ACAS Code of Disciplinary Procedure and Complaint. With regard to the structure of their work documentation, employers often provide – explicitly and reasonably – that their disciplinary and complaint procedures are not contractually regulated. They do this to avoid claims for contractual damages from employees in cases where the procedure is not followed and the employee argues that this constitutes a breach of contract. The employee could then seek constructive dismissal and/or, in a disciplinary or dismissal case, damages for the period it would have taken the employer to complete its disciplinary process prior to dismissal – which could be a significant period in terms of situations of poor performance.
Dealing with behavior and other disciplinary issues is one of the most difficult challenges for any employer. Make a misstep and an employee may charge a high price. And even if you have a good reason to act, the courts require that you follow the right procedure to the letter. Our disciplinary process will show you how to play it safe and stay on the right side of the law. Before you can even think about any kind of disciplinary action, you need a good reason, e.B misconduct. Make sure of your evidence before confronting the employee – it is important to fully understand your facts, so a detailed investigation is necessary. Next, you need to decide whether you want to address the issue through informal counselling or whether you opt for formal disciplinary measures. Instances of minor misconduct or unsatisfactory performance are generally best addressed through informal advice or coaching, which is reflected in our disciplinary process. However, there will be situations where things are more serious or where an informal approach has not worked.
If informal measures do not improve or if the situation is deemed too serious to be considered minor, you should consider taking formal disciplinary action in accordance with our disciplinary process. The disciplinary process can be stressful, difficult and problematic for everyone involved. Discipline ensures that individuals remain silent in the workplace and work as a unit with their team members to achieve company goals. Discipline is indeed the lifeline of an organization. Without discipline, employees would not only behave badly, but would also do what they want to do. In a fair disciplinary proceeding, an employee should have the opportunity to appeal a disciplinary decision. This is regulated in the ACAS Code and should therefore be applied when formal disciplinary measures are taken, and a manual can be classified as part of the employment contract. When a manual is labeled as contracted, it is treated as if all of its policies are included in the employee`s contract, so the employee is strictly bound by them. This is an issue that a labour court must ultimately decide, which is why it is necessary for an employer to follow a fair disciplinary procedure. An organization`s disciplinary process should be written and easily accessible to all employees.
The Directive should specify what the rules are and what types of behavioural acts or behaviour are likely to give rise to disciplinary measures. It also lists the measures that the employer may take in response to a disciplinary case. “Non-contractual obligations” may include tort claims such as negligence, misrepresentation and pre-contractual deception or requests for surrender or unjust enrichment. Policies tend not to be contractual because they mainly explain how the company will approach things, i.e. the annual leave procedure. Policies can generally be changed without the express consent of staff. Check out our next article in this series, which discusses absence management procedures. At the very least, you must establish your disciplinary rules and your disciplinary and dismissal procedure as part of the employee`s written declaration of working conditions, although they may be included in your personnel manual and it is still possible to make it non-contractual and therefore non-legally binding. This means that the employee is not entitled to a breach of contract if you accidentally do not comply with one of his conditions, although he can of course still have a right of unjustified dismissal if he has sufficient continuity of employment, i.e. two years. Our disciplinary procedure contains detailed provisions, including a warning procedure, which is in line with the general provisions of the ACAS Code of Practice on Disciplinary and Complaint Procedures, in order to ensure the procedural fairness of a dismissal in which the employee has the right to claim unfair dismissal. The correct application of disciplinary proceedings is a key element in determining whether a dismissal is procedurally fair.
We have also included an exclusion provision so that the procedure does not apply to employees in the short term, that is, for those who do not have the general right to invoke unfair dismissal. The purpose of a disciplinary code and procedure is to regulate the standards of conduct and incapacity for work of employees within a company or organization. The purpose of discipline is to correct unacceptable behaviours and to take a step-by-step approach to the workplace. The right of appeal is crucial in any disciplinary proceedings. A disciplinary complaint (5) can help the employer correct mistakes made earlier in the process and prevent claims from being filed against the organization. If an employer has a contractual disciplinary policy that they do not follow, they may be deemed to have breached the contract. .