Providing employees with the opportunity to appeal against a disciplinary decision is an important part of a fair disciplinary procedure.
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While there is no statutory right to appeal a disciplinary penalty, it is included in the Acas code of practice on disciplinary and grievance procedures and so should be applied where any formal disciplinary action is taken.
We take a look at eight things you need to consider when handling disciplinary appeals:
1. If the employer does not follow an appeals procedure that forms part of the contract of employment, it will be a breach of contract.
2. The right of appeal needs to be applied consistently in disciplinary cases so as to avoid discrimination claims.
3. Tribunals take into account the Acas code of practice on disciplinary and grievance procedures – which includes recommendations about appeals against disciplinary penalties – when considering relevant cases.
4. Employers should aim to have the appeal heard by a manager who is more senior than the one who dealt with the original disciplinary hearing.
5.Workers have the right to be accompanied at a disciplinary appeal hearing.
6. If the employee fails to attend the appeal hearing, the employer should investigate the reasons for this and rearrange where appropriate.
7. The general rules of fairness and natural justice should be applied to the appeal hearing.
8. The employer should consider a number of options if it upholds the appeal.