If, following a thorough investigation and a fair disciplinary hearing, an employer concludes that disciplinary action is needed, the next step is to consider a disciplinary penalty. The employer should ensure that its decision on what sanction to impose is fair and reasonable in the circumstances.
Once the employer has come to a conclusion on what disciplinary action it will take, it should inform the employee of the decision, the reasons for it and the employee’s right to appeal.
Here, we look at seven things you need to consider before deciding on an appropriate disciplinary penalty.
1. Take into account the nature and seriousness of misconduct or poor performance when deciding on a penalty.
2. Be aware that you can give a final written warning for a “first offence” if this is appropriate.
3. Only dismiss the employee if it is a reasonable response in the circumstances.
4. Take into account any rules or guidance in the disciplinary policy or employee handbook on which penalties apply in particular circumstances.
5. Investigate the employee’s disciplinary record and take any live warnings into account.
Where an employee is given a warning for a particular conduct issue, but then commits a different type of misconduct, can the employer move to the next stage of the disciplinary procedure to address that issue or must it start a separate procedure?
6. Consider what penalties were imposed on other employees in similar circumstances and be consistent when deciding a penalty.
7. Take into account whether or not there are any mitigating factors, such as a good disciplinary record, health issues or provocation.
This checklist is based on XpertHR’s guide to deciding on an appropriate disciplinary penalty. If you are an XpertHR subscriber, you can view the full guide here.