Facing a disciplinary hearing

What is a disciplinary hearing?

A disciplinary hearing is a meeting facilitated by your employer to discuss allegations against you and to give you an opportunity to respond to those allegations. Your employer can discipline you for conduct, capability or some other substantial reason. S13 (4) Employment Relations Act 1999 says that a disciplinary hearing is a hearing which could result in; the administration of a formal warning to a worker by his employer, the taking of some other action in respect of a worker by his employer, or the confirmation of a warning issued or some other action taken. You have the right to be accompanied to a disciplinary hearing under S10 of the Employment Relations Act 1999. Make sure you have a companion who will assist you in defending yourself and that you are both clear on what your companion can, and cannot do.

See The Disciplinary Hearing: Understanding the process and surviving it

Your right to be accompanied to discipline and grievance meetings.

 

What are the essential elements of a disciplinary hearing?

The essential elements of a disciplinary hearing is the legal duty on your employer to act reasonably under S.98 (4)(a) and (b) of the Employment Rights Act 1996, and the duty to follow a fair procedure. If either of these are not present and your employer dismisses you, it will be an unfair dismissal.

  • Once your employer has decided that you have a case to answer, you will receive a letter notifying you of the disciplinary hearing (Disciplinary Notice). You should also receive a written report or summary with supporting evidence and statements so that you can prepare for the disciplinary hearing. See Employee Rescue resource I’m facing Disciplinary Action.
  • You should receive a copy of the Disciplinary Policy and Procedure with the Disciplinary Notice.
  • By now you should be thoroughly ready with your chronology, information, supporting witness statements, and evidence that you have collated using the Investigation Rescue Kit.
  • The meeting must be held without unreasonable delay, but you must have sufficient time to prepare.
  •  If you are disabled, ask for any reasonable adjustments you may need.
  • If your English is poor, ask for an interpreter or facilitator, in addition to any companion if needed.
  •  Before the hearing, write asking who will be taking notes and also for a copy of the notes after each meeting.
  • Every decision in the disciplinary setting is open to challenge and Employee Rescue is here to help you with these challenges at every point of the procedure.

You should be thoroughly ready with your chronology, information, supporting witness statements, and evidence that you have collated. These are detailed in the Employee Rescue guides on the Disciplinary Investigation and The Disciplinary Hearing: Understanding the process and surviving it. The meeting must be held without unreasonable delay, but you must have sufficient time to prepare. If you are disabled, ask for any reasonable adjustments you may need. If your English is poor, ask for an interpreter or facilitator, in addition to any companion if needed. Before the hearing, write asking who will be taking notes and also for a copy of the notes after each meeting.

 

 

Resources available 

The Disciplinary Hearing: Understanding the process, and surviving it

Surviving a disciplinary investigation at work

Surviving a workplace suspension

How to fight dismissal on Probation

Disciplinary action and capability

Discrimination at work

How to survive a criminal charge, conviction or caution at work

Social Media and Unfair Dismissal

Surviving Capability and Performance Management

Alcohol and Drugs at work

How to prepare a schedule of loss for unfair dismissal

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Disclaimer

This resource is published by Employee Rescue Limited. Please note that the information and any commentary on the law contained herein is provided for information purposes only. The information and commentary does not, and is not intended to, amount to legal advice. Employee Rescue accepts no responsibility for any loss occasioned to any person acting or refraining from action as a result of the material contained in this publication.

Further specialist advice should be taken before relying on the contents of this publication. You can send an e-mail to thelawyers@employeerescue.co.uk for such specialist advice if required.

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