It is a statutory right to allow employees to be accompanied at a disciplinary hearing, and the ACAS code of practice reminds employers of this requirement. "It has been updated to take account of the EAT decision in the case of Toal v GB Oils on the right of accompaniment at disciplinary and grievance hearings. They might use the Acas Code of Practice, or they might have their own procedure, which should be similar. It may be that the hearing would need to be through a series of calls to allow the questioning of witnesses and to allow the companion and the employee in question to confer confidentially if that is what they want. Although it is not formal legislation, employment tribunals are bound by law to follow to the authoritative advice given in the Code of Practice when qualifying a tribunal claim. There is a risk that the hearing could result in dismissal, a formal warning that your performance or conduct must improve, or some other kind of contractual sanction being taken. The role of the disciplinary hearing. Join Acas as we guide you through the disciplinary process. Legal Briefings However, while there is no legal requirement to disclose the identity of witnesses, failure to do so undermines the employee's right to challenge properly the evidence. Acas takes the view in its guidance that it is still possible for furloughed employees to take on various roles in disciplinary or grievance investigations or hearings, including if they are the person under investigation, chairing a hearing, acting as a witness or companion, or taking a note, provided that such participation is voluntary. You can bring someone with you to a disciplinary meeting. Importantly, the person leading the hearing should be independent from the incident in question e.g. Acas Helpline The Acas Helpline has further advice on disciplinary issues. Clear, practical guidance on how to conduct workplace investigations and hearings. Taking someone with you is called the ‘right to be accompanied’. 5. In addition, a covert recording may breach the employee’s right to private and family life under art.8 of the European Convention on Human Rights, unless the employer can explain why it was a proportionate way of achieving a legitimate aim. Campbell v Mitie Managed Services Ltd (employment tribunal) Although it is a statutory right, the Acas code reminds employers of the requirement to allow the employee to be accompanied at a disciplinary hearing. During the coronavirus pandemic, procedures must also be carried out in a way that follows public health guidelines around social distancing and the closure or phased re-opening of certain workplaces. The proper handling of discipline at work is central to good employment relations. Not allowing the employee to be accompanied at a disciplinary hearing. The Acas Code of Practice sets out principles for handling disciplinary and grievance matters in the workplace and states that procedures must always be fair and reasonable. What constitutes an "unreasonable delay" will depend on the circumstances. Name (required) … Browse more Employee Relations jobs. 22 December 2020 09:30 - 12:30 Full: Managing discipline and grievance (England & Wales) - digital event During these unprecedented times, more people are working remotely. . Yes, an employer can anonymise witness statements obtained during a grievance or disciplinary procedure. The ACAS Code and Guidance advises that it is best practice to hear any grievance first, before proceeding to a disciplinary hearing/meeting. The Acas Code of Practice on Disciplinary and Grievance Procedures provides essential guidelines for employment tribunals to follow during a disciplinary or grievance procedure. Enacting key meetings, the day culminates in a ‘live’ hearing. The essential read for HR professionals: the Acas guidance on disciplinary hearings. Anne Sharp, Acas Chief Executive, said: "Our Code is designed to help employers, employees and their representatives deal with disciplinary and grievance situations in the workplace. We can help you handle a disciplinary hearing at work effectively and spot potential legal claims, including when grievances are raised during a disciplinary procedure. Next Article . No comments yet. Unlike disciplinary hearings, the Code does not include any provisions that directly relate to the attendance of witnesses at grievance meetings. if possible disciplinary action arises from an altercation between an employee and a manager, it would not be fair for that manager to make a decision … If the employee does decide to appeal, you should try to hold the appeal hearing as soon as possible. The Code gives crucial guidance on carrying out a fair procedure for misconduct and poor performance. An employer should highlight that the employee still has a right to be accompanied by a trade union rep or work colleague at any disciplinary hearings. This is unlikely to apply to disciplinary and grievance hearings. Acas provides information, advice, training, conciliation and other services for employers and employees to help prevent or resolve workplace problems. If an employee wants a work colleague to accompany them at a disciplinary hearing and/or be a witness in their defence, they should: What is the companion's role at a disciplinary or grievance hearing? A disciplinary hearing should be a two-way process and your employer is bound by the ACAS Code of Practice to ensure this. Alternatively, your employer may run both processes alongside each other, especially if the issues are interlinked. We also recommend having a full and detailed grievance procedure to guide and protect the business. Previous Article. Although the ACAS Code is not legally binding, an Employment Tribunal will take into account whether your employer adhered to the provisions of the Code. The Acas code of practice on disciplinary and grievance procedures, which is taken into account in relevant tribunal proceedings, states that it would normally be appropriate to provide the employee with copies of any written evidence with the notification of the disciplinary hearing. The Acas Code of Practice on Disciplinary and Grievance Procedures is an essential read for any business owner, manager or HR professional dealing with disciplinary hearings. When dealing with requests to postpone a disciplinary hearing to accommodate the attendance of a worker’s companion, readers of the Code will wish to be aware of the Employment Appeal Tribunal judgement in the case of Talon Engineering Ltd v Smith. Go to . The Acas guide to discipline and grievances at work gives more information for employers about taking disciplinary action. Acas states there would be no reason for an employer to record a disciplinary hearing held via a video meeting, but it should comply with data protection law if it wishes to do so. Comment. The ACAS Code of Practice sets out standards for employers to meet when managing disciplinary issues. The ACAS Code of Practice on Disciplinary and Grievance Procedures (the “ACAS Code”) requires the employee to state their full grounds of appeal in writing and specifies that any appeal should be heard without unreasonable delay. The appeal should ideally be heard by someone senior to the original decision-maker and from a different reporting line. We will facilitate discussion throughout the day, providing best practice advice, relevant case law and highlighting potential pitfalls. In any disciplinary process, your employer has to follow the law, ACAS Code of Practice on Disciplinary and Grievance Procedures (the Code), and your employer’s own policies and procedures. Paragraph 26 of the Acas code of practice on disciplinary and grievance procedures explains that an employee should appeal if they believe that a disciplinary decision is wrong or unjust. www.acas.org.uk for more details. Consequently, employers must take a broad approach in allowing employees the right of appeal. The right to be accompanied arises when you invite your employee to attend a disciplinary or grievance hearing, and they make a reasonable request for a companion, of their choice, to attend the hearing. There is no specific legal timescale in which a disciplinary appeal hearing should be held. You employer should follow a written process, which explains the standards of fairness they'll follow in the disciplinary action. The Acas Code of Practice sets out principles for handling disciplinary and grievance matters in the workplace and states that procedures must always be fair and reasonable. All Acas events on Mock disciplinary hearing for all regions: Click on an event for more information and to book places. Employee relations opportunities on Personnel Today. If your employer decides to take disciplinary action against you. All Acas events on Discipline and grievance (digital) for all regions: Click on an event for more information and to book places. A The Employment Relations Act 1999, section 13, defines a disciplinary hearing as one that could result in the administration of a formal warning, the taking of some other disciplinary action, such as suspension without pay, demotion or dismissal, or the confirmation of a warning or some other disciplinary action. We start with the informal stages and initial investigation. The ACAS Code of Practice on Discipline and Grievance Procedures recommends that your companion takes a full part in the proceedings. Under the guidelines, a disciplinary hearing should be held as part of an employer’s fair and lawful procedure when handling and investigating a workplace disciplinary issue. Under s.10 of the Employment Relations Act 1999, the companion must be permitted to address the hearing in order to put the worker's case, sum up the case and respond on the worker's behalf to any view expressed at the hearing. Should an employee bring a claim against their employer, the tribunal … Acas Disciplinary Hearings; Bullying and Harassment; Discrimination; Early Conciliation Service; Settlement Agreements; Being invited to a disciplinary hearing can be distressing. A failure to consistently follow best practice guidelines can lead to a perception of … If you cannot find a suitable event return to training home page. This is a meeting which can lead to disciplinary action. Disciplinary action could be: a first or final warning; suspension without pay; demotion; dismissal; Your employer only has to allow certain people to accompany you. During the coronavirus pandemic, procedures must also be carried out in a way that follows public health guidelines around social distancing and the closure or phased re-opening of certain workplaces. Employers will also be mindful of the negative impact that recording … They must also be permitted to confer with the worker during the hearing. Business need. The Acas guidance suggests that your disciplinary process should follow the following format: A letter telling your employee the issue and inviting them to a disciplinary hearing. However, para.26 of the Acas code of practice on disciplinary and grievance procedures provides that appeals should be heard without unreasonable delay, and ideally at an agreed time and place. Leave a Reply Click here to cancel reply. 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