HR needs to ensure grievance code reflects reality

I enjoyed reading Ranjit Dhindsa’s article regarding Acas’s new code of practice on discipline and grievance (‘Be seen to be fair or face up to a fine’, Personnel Today, 27 May). It prompted me to ask Personnel Today readers for their comments on the practicalities of one part of the document:

Section 23 states: “Some acts, termed gross misconduct, are so serious that they may call for summary dismissal for a first offence.”

It goes on to say: “But a fair disciplinary process, including a right of appeal, should always be followed, before deciding whether gross misconduct has occurred.”

Pardon? Of course, no decisions are pre-judged by the best practitioners, but I wonder if the policy writers concerned have ever dealt with disciplinary situations before? Are they in the real world, or are we really expected to follow a procedure – including a right of appeal – before deciding whether gross misconduct has occurred?

At the very least, let’s sort out the phraseology so that small organisations, who may not have HR input, can more easily understand what is being proposed.

Stuart Mallinson

Head of HR,

Aldwyck Housing Group

Comments on the draft code of practice should sent to: [email protected] by 25 July.

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