There comes a point in any Managers working life when he/she has to carry out their first disciplinary, they're never pleasent things to deal with, but they are necessary. Why? Because unless you operate a disciplined environment you will Manage an operation where you command no respect, and worse still you will manage an environment which is invariably unsafe because of your unwillingness to take control.
The main purpose of operating a disciplinary procedure is to encourage improvement in an employee whose conduct or performance are below acceptable standards. Problems dealt with early enough can be 'nipped in the bud', whereas delay can make things worse as the employee may not realise that they are below standard unless they are told. Arrange to speak to the employee as soon as possible - the matter may then be able to be dealt with in an informal manner and not as part of the disciplinary process. Disciplinary procedures are required by law.
Why do we need Rules and Procedures?
- Rules are necessary because they set standards. A good disciplinary procedure helps employees keep to the rules, and helps employers deal fairly with those who do not
- Rules will normally cover issues such as absence, timekeeping and holiday arrangements, health and safety, use of the organisation's equipment and facilities, misconduct, sub-standard performance, and discrimination, bullying and harassment
- Rules and procedures should be clear, and should preferably be put in writing. They should be known and understood by all employees
- All employees should have ready access to a copy of the rules and disciplinary procedures
- Management should aim to secure the involvement of employees and any recognised trade union or other employee representatives when rules and disciplinary procedures are introduced or revised
- Rules should be reviewed from time to time and revised if necessary
- Management should ensure that those responsible for handling a disciplinary hearing understand the disciplinary hearing process and have been trained in the disciplinary procedure
Inviting an employee to a disciplinary hearing should always be in writing and state the alleged issues to be discussed. The employee does have the right to a representative present. If any action will be taken the employee must have the right to appeal.
The flowchart below indicates the process of disciplinary action. However, not all companies operate in the same way, and whereas this chart indicates 1) Verbal, 2) Written and 3) Final Written, some companies may have additional stages in place, which are specific to them.
For further information pertaining to Disciplinary and Grievance Procedure, please use the links below.
Disciplinary Procedure - ACAS
Disciplinary & Grievance Procedures - CIPD