Why do disciplinary hearings take place?
If an employer has complaints about an employee’s conduct, work performance or absence, they could begin formal disciplinary actions against the employer or dismiss them from employment.
However, before doing so, the employer should set up an informal disciplinary hearing with the employee in order to resolve the matter without triggering formal procedures or dismissals. It is a meeting between the employer and employee to discuss the nature of the situation and to come up with a solution.
What happens during disciplinary hearings?
During these hearings the employee informed of the nature of the complaint(s) against them, presented with evidence that confirms the same and is given the chance to explain their behaviour, including any issues or concerns that have affected their conduct, work performance or absence.
Do employees have to go to disciplinary hearings alone?
No, employees can bring someone with them to the hearing if the employer is informed of this beforehand. The employee could bring either a colleague, a trade union representative or trade union official.
If neither of these are available to accompany the employee, they could request to bring a family member or a member from the Citizens Advice bureau. However, the employer is not obliged to agree to this unless it is stated in the employment contract. Please note that the companion’s role in the hearing is very limited.
After disciplinary hearings
After the hearing, the employer should write to the employer informing them of how they will respond to the issues raised in the hearing. They should also inform the employee of their legal rights, e.g the right to appeal the course of action. It could be either of the following:
- No action taken
- Written warning
- Final warning
- Any other reasonable course of action that is necessary to solve the problem, e.g a meeting to resolve problems with a colleague that has affected work performance
How can NA Law help?
With specialist employment law advice we can help you guide you through the entire procedure whilst informing you of all legal options available to you. Whether you are an employer dealing with a disciplinary hearing or employee asked to attend one, NA Law can help you mediate through even the most complex issues in the workplace.
Contact us to find out more about how we can help you.