The need for disciplinary action will be as a result from the inappropriate conduct or behaviour by one of your employee’s.

Fair Process for a Misconduct Dismissal

Dismissal will be an appropriate outcome in a disciplinary situation where the employee fails to correct their conduct or behaviour following previous formal disciplinary warnings or where their conduct or behaviour is so serious it warrants instant dismissal (gross misconduct).

What Behaviours Lead to Disciplinary Action?

There is no legal list of what constitutes misconduct or gross misconduct.  The range of behaviours will be different in each business and what one business views as gross misconduct another may view with more leniency and take a harder approach to a different set of behaviours.  The circumstances to take into account when compiling a list of behaviours for misconduct and gross misconduct for your business will be:

  • Type of work performed
  • Safety issues
  • Importance of reliable attendance and timekeeping
  • Risks to the business of misuse of equipment

What Procedure Must You Follow?

If an employee’s conduct does not meet acceptable standards the company’s disciplinary procedure must be followed through each stage to ensure the dismissal is fair.

The procedure should follow the guidelines set out in the ACAS Code of Practice.  The Code sets out the steps that should be taken to ensure a fair and reasonable procedure is followed for resolving instances of misconduct in the workplace.

The ACAS code of practice states that:

  • Issues should be raised and dealt with promptly by both parties, with no intentional delaying of meetings, agreement to decisions etc.
  • Both employers and employees should act consistently throughout the case.
  • Employers should undertake necessary investigations to discover and resolve reported grievances.
  • In the case of an employee disciplinary, employees should have the nature of the case explained to them and be given a reasonable chance to put their case and response forward.
  • Employees should be given the chance to be accompanied to grievance and disciplinary meetings.
  • Employees should be allowed to appeal any decision reached by their employer regarding any grievance, disciplinary or dismissal.

Unfair Dismissal

As we outlined in our article of Fair Reasons for Dismissal and Unfair Dismissal where a company fails to follow the procedure the employee can make a claim for Unfair Dismissal.  Should either party fail to follow the ACAS Code then compensation awarded could be increased (in the case of employers failing to comply) or decreased (in the case of employees failing to comply) by up to 25%.

HR Toolkit: discipline and appeal hearings
My HR Toolkit: discipline and appeal hearings provides an essential toolkit with practical guidance, meeting scripts and template letters to enable you to manage disciplinary and appeal hearings within your business fairly and consistently.

I like breaking down processes into simple easy to follow steps and my easy to follow flow charts, meeting scripts, checklists and template letters ensure everything is done properly, efficiently and compliantly in a professional, friendly and knowledgeable way.

When you purchase the HR Toolkit: discipline and appeal hearings you will receive access to:

  • Policy – a clearly written and communicated policy is your best defence against tribunal claims.
  • Flowcharts – provide step-by-step guidance to key aspects of the disciplinary and appeal process.
  • Forms and Letters – are templates with clear prompts where text should be added.
  • Meeting Checklists – provide a reminder of the essential points to be covered in the particular situation.

The HR Toolkit: discipline and appeal hearings provides a model disciplinary policy and a comprehensive range of template letters and meeting checklists for the investigation, suspension, formal meeting and appeal stages of the process. There are also a range of How to Guides that deal with unusual situations such as what to do when an employee goes off sick during a disciplinary process and what to do when an employee fails to attend a disciplinary meeting.

If you have any questions, please call me on 0114 360 0626 or simply email me at

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Fair Process for a Misconduct Dismissal