Disciplinary Action & Procedures

If you are carrying out Disciplinary Action on any of your employees, even if you have not detailed your own procedure, you must at least follow the minimum statutory requirements. If your employee has a grievance with you even if you have not detailed a procedure, your employee must follow the minimum statutory procedures. You need to understand what the procedures are and what your rights and obligations are within them. We can advise you of your requirements and provide a bespoke Disciplinary and Grievance Procedure for you to protect you in the future.

Disciplinary and Grievance Procedures

You should provide your team with details of any Grievance or Disciplinary Procedures with their written Terms of Employment. If you do not have one, you must follow the minimum statutory procedure below.

The Statutory Grievance/Disciplinary Action Procedure

There are three basic minimum steps that must be followed along with any that you have added. These are:

  • A written statement
  • A meeting
  • An appeal meeting

The Written Statement

You need to set out the details of your disciplinary action in writing and send this to your employee. It should set out any relevant dates and times. It should be dated and you must keep a copy of it. Each disciplinary item should be listed separately under it's own heading. You will have to wait at least 28 days before taking any further action to allow your employee time to reply.

The Meeting

The next step is the meeting to discuss the disciplinary matter. Your employee can take someone with them, a member of a trade union if relevant. If your employee rearranges the meeting for an unforeseeable reason you must set up another meeting. However, if they do not attend this second meeting you do not need to set a third date. You are deemed to have complied with the procedure at this point.

After the meeting you must provide your employee with a decision. If your employee is not happy with it they have the right to appeal.

The Appeal Meeting

Your employee must advise you in writing that they intend to appeal and a meeting will be set. Once again your employee can attend the meeting with someone. If your employee fails to attend the appeal meeting this can lead to a reduced compensation payment for them if they later make a claim. If, after the appeal meeting, your employee is still not happy with your decision they may decide to make a claim to an Employment Tribunal.

Find out from our case study how our expert knowledge has helped employers deal with constructive dismissal:

Client B’s former employee had brought a claim for constructive dismissal.  We were instructed to draft and prepare Form ET3 on behalf of Client B. We thereafter instructed our employment barrister to represent Client B upon the Case Management Conference that was heard before the Employment Tribunal Judge. We then proceeded on behalf of Client B to comply with the directions ordered by the Employment Tribunal which included us in drafting an index to the Hearing bundle and agreeing the same with the former employee’s legal representative after which we then prepared the Hearing bundle.  However, negotiations were then entered into upon which a final settlement was reached before the final Hearing.

The reasons why the bill was higher than the straightforward matter was because:

  • Settlement was not reached until after we had complied with the Employment Tribunal directions. 
  • As we were acting for the Respondent, we were required, in accordance with the Employment Tribunal directions, to draft index to the Hearing bundle and once agreed with the former employee’s legal representative, we proceeded to prepare the Hearing bundle.
  • In addition to our bill, there were disbursements of £1200 plus VAT in relation to the barrister’s fees in representing Client B at the Case Management Conference.

Early Legal Intervention

If you are facing action against you by any of your employees, or are taking disciplinary action against them, early legal advice can save any subsequent legal action that can be both costly and take up a large amount of your time.


We can often offer fixed fee advice so that you know at the beginning what costs are involved. You can then decide if you would like us to help you.

Can We Help You?

Please call us on 01634 811 118, complete our online enquiry form, or email our Employment Law specialist Chris Eastland.

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