1. Confirm the decision in writingAs soon as possible after a misconduct hearing, the employer should confirm its decision in writing in a disciplinary letter. Simply telling the employee at the disciplinary hearing that you are issuing a formal warning, even where it is an oral warning, is not enough. The Acas code of practice on disciplinary and grievance procedures states that, after a meeting to discuss a disciplinary issue, the employer should inform the employee of any disciplinary or other action it is taking in writing. Tribunals take the code into account when considering relevant cases, and can adjust awards made by up to 25% for an unreasonable failure to comply with it.
2. Explain the nature of the misconductThe misconduct warning letter should provide a summary of the employee's misconduct, including when the offence occurred. For example, a warning for poor timekeeping could set out:
- the dates on which the employee arrived late for work;
- how late the employee was on those occasions;
- the employee's failure to provide a satisfactory explanation for the lateness; and
- what impact the misconduct had on the employee's work and colleagues.