How To Beat Disciplinary Hearings. A disciplinary hearing at work can be a stressful period for anyone.
Whether it’s related to conduct, performance, or absence, the entire process of disciplinary action might seem daunting at first.
But it doesn’t have to be as stressful as you think…
If you know how to be successful at a disciplinary hearing.
What Is A Disciplinary Hearing?
Disciplinary action can be brought against an employee by their employer if they have concerns relating to their work, conduct, or any absences.
There are strict protocols in place that businesses must adhere to when bringing disciplinary action against an employee. Although each business is likely to have its own unique code of conduct.
The disciplinary hearing is an employee’s chance to set out their case. Bring witnesses forward, and answer questions about their conduct, performance, or absence.
At the hearing, the employee can ask for a companion to speak on their behalf, but the employer is not required to allow this.
If allowed, they can set out the employee’s case, respond on their behalf, take notes, and summarise their case.
What Happens After A Disciplinary Hearing?
After the formal hearing has taken place, the employer must inform the employee how long the process will take to complete and what to expect.
The ACAS Code of Practice on disciplinary and grievance procedures is the minimum standard that businesses are expected to adhere to. Although their own code of conduct might set out those standards.
It’s worth noting that the ACAS Code isn’t a legal requirement. Although if the case goes to a tribunal, then a judge WILL consider whether an employer has followed the standards fairly and reasonably.
This applies to anyone with employment status. Although it’s advisable to follow the same procedures for all workers. Whether they’re freelance, employed, a contractor, or any other classification of worker.
The decision must consider:
- All available information and evidence
- Previous action taken on similar cases
- Whether the action is fair and appropriate
If the action being taken is NOT a dismissal, then the decision should include clear and specific goals for the employee to reach within a set timeframe.
The decision should include details of the decision, how it’s been reached, and if it’s a dismissal, the date of termination of employment and notice period (if they are being dismissed), and information on their right to appeal.
So, How Can You Be Successful In A Disciplinary Hearing?
If you’ve been suspended from your duties, you should know that this is a serious matter.
It’s likely that the case is considered as potentially being gross misconduct if you’ve been suspended. It could result in instant dismissal even if you’ve had no prior warnings or issues.
But once you’re in the process of disciplinary action, you need to be pragmatic.
You should seek legal advice at the earliest opportunity to give you the best chance of preparing a sound case for yourself.
Think about why the action has been brought and what your employer is looking to find out from the investigation…
So, what evidence is there? How malicious is the behaviour? Are there any witnesses who could be beneficial to your case?
Most importantly, you MUST prepare.
Review ALL of the evidence and statements you’ve been given. Make notes on any sections you disagree with. Ensure your case responds to the allegations against you in every aspect.
Think about the context in which any behaviour happened. Was there a reason for it, did the behaviour of a manager or colleague initiate a response, or was there a legitimate and reasonable excuse?
If you have an exemplary disciplinary record or reputation within the business, you should absolutely use this as a character statement. Think about who can express this on your behalf too (witnesses etc).
If you have any praise or favour with clients, this could be advantageous too.
Solicitors Near Me To Assist With A Successful Disciplinary Hearing