Disciplinary procedures to be tighter

Employers must tighten up their grievance and disciplinary procedures or
face a rise in the levels of compensation handed out to employees by the
courts.

Employment Tribunals will soon have the power to raise compensation awards
by as much as 10 or 15 per cent if they believe employers have not followed the
correct procedure when disciplining staff.

Stefan Martin, an employment partner at Allen and Overy, warned that firms
could face higher costs when the Government’s new Statutory Disciplinary
Procedures are implemented in October next year.

Although the £50,000 cap will remain on the awards, Martin said more people
could receive the maximum amount if firms failed to follow the rules closely.

"If the new process isn’t followed, the awards could increase
significantly. Most employers will have disciplinary procedures in place, but
that doesn’t meanÊ they are being followed," he said.

Martin stressed the changes in the law could have a big impact on the way
business deals with discipline and urged employers to make sure managers
followed the rules.

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