Conducting disciplinary hearings: an employer checklist

disciplinary hearings

If, following an investigation, an employer decides that there is a disciplinary case for an employee to answer, then a disciplinary hearing should be arranged. It is important that the employee is given the chance to put his or her case forward in response to the allegations, and that a fair process is followed when preparing for, and conducting, the hearing. Here, we set out a checklist for employers to follow to ensure that disciplinary hearings are conducted fairly.

1. Ensure that the basic principles of fairness are followed throughout the disciplinary procedure.

2. Familiarise yourself with the principles in the Acas code of practice on disciplinary and grievance procedures.

3. Ensure that someone who is not involved in the case is appointed to take notes on the proceedings.

4. Outline the procedure to be followed during the hearing and introduce the parties taking part.

5. Set out the case against the employee.

6. Ask the employee questions to ascertain the facts of the case and allow him or her a full and fair opportunity to state his or her side of events, explain his or her conduct and state any mitigating factors.

7. Conclude the hearing or adjourn it if new matters are raised that need investigating.

8. Weigh up the evidence and decide whether or not a disciplinary sanction is appropriate and, if so, what it should be.

9. Inform the employee of the decision, the reasons for it and his or her right to appeal.

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