What are disciplinaries?

An organisation should ideally have a set of rules or code of conduct to inform staff of correct, legal and safe ways to act or perform at work. If an employee breaks a rule then an employer may choose to follow the disciplinary procedure.

Sometimes it is beneficial to try to resolve the issue informally first, however this is situation specific and dependent on the severity or consequences.

A disciplinary procedure is normally found within a staff or employee handbook and referred to in a contract of employment. If these formalities are not in place, then an employer can follow the ACAS Guide for best HR practice.

Typically a disciplinary process will consist of a number of stages including investigation, hearing, and possibly appeal.

Why do disciplinaries matter?

As a manager or a business owner, in line with your responsibility or seniority, you may have to manage a disciplinary issue. It is important to successfully manage this to maintain continual running of your business and fair treatment of all staff. Following the correct procedures and best practice will also reduce the risk of claims of unfair dismissal. It is also important to consider the impact on the rest of the team in terms of retention, morale and reputation if staff members receive different levels of treatment for discipline.

We can help you with disciplinaries

We can support in these situations by advising or guiding you through the process. This could entail the initial investigation, holding a hearing, concluding the outcome or even through to a dismissal or appeal. As we have a number of suitably experienced consultants within our team, we can provide a different chairperson for the hearing and appeal stages, thereby maintaining their independence.

Alternatively, our team are experienced to act as external investigator and explore the issue impartially and quickly, leaving you to focus on managing your business and staff.

If required we can conduct the necessary meetings at our offices to provide a neutral offsite environment, to minimise employee stress, workplace disruption, and maintain privacy.

We can provide the essential documents, offer recommendations going forward, provide training and development and ensure the desired outcome is understood. Lastly we can work with you to enable you to feel confident should a difficult situation arise again.

We can train you to handle disciplinaries

We don’t currently have any public open courses scheduled that deal with this topic, so please contact us to discuss bespoke courses.

Employment law relating to disciplinaries

Employment Rights Act 1996

The Employment Rights Act 1996 sets out the rights that employees are entitled to in the workplace. The act talks about a range of interesting topics that can affect the employee, such as: The employment contract Pay Protection from detriment Time off from work Dismissal The Employment Rights Act is a crucial piece of legislation…

Other HR issues relating to disciplinaries

Absence Management

Absence management is the process in supporting your business through planned or unplanned absence of your workforce. This could include sickness, injury or annual leave. Policies and procedures can be put in place to support your business through the following with notification procedures, payment terms and return to work support. It is important to have…


Dismissal is when the employer terminates the employment relationship against the employee. Dismissal should be a last resort but sometimes it is unavoidable and the relationship must end this way. To comply with legislation and best practice, employers should carry out necessary investigations without unreasonable delay to establish the facts. It is important to manage…

Employee Engagement

Employee engagement is an approach taken by an organisation that results in the right conditions for all employees, allowing them to work to their greatest potential, increasing their commitment to the organisations values and goals, also by motivating employees to contribute to the organisations overall success. Employee engagement is based on trust and the two…

Employment Disputes

Arguments : confrontation : disagreements : tension : yelling : physical fight These are examples of employment disputes that can unfortunately happen between staff in the workplace. An employment dispute can be between team mates, cross-departmental or conversed seniority. It could be longstanding or a shorter stemmed reaction. Either way every dispute will be different…


A grievance is a concern, problem or complaint raised by an employee against their employer. It is ideal for an employer to have a grievance procedure in writing, commonly held within the staff handbook, contract of employment or held with additional company policies to help you manage this situation fairly and without delay. Contractually, you…

Performance Management

Performance management is the process to help staff reach business objectives through optimal performance at work. Employees are a key asset to the successful running of your business, so it is important that your team is supported within their role and given the opportunities to develop and achieve results. Staff should be aware of the…

Unfair Dismissal

For a dismissal to be fair it must be for a fair reason i.e. conduct, capability, breach of the law, or redundancy; and the dismissal must have been dealt with fairly i.e. follow the correct process, with the correct notice and payments. Unfair dismissal can be claimed by an employee through an Employment Tribunal if…


Whistleblowing is when a worker reports a certain type of wrongdoing. A whistleblower is protected by law and shouldn’t be treated unfairly or lose their job because they ‘blow the whistle’. A concern can be raised at any time about an incident that happened in the past, present, or is believed to happen in the near…
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