Grievance and Disciplinary Procedures

Posted on

Workplaces should have a fair and transparent procedure for bringing grievances or initiating disciplinary action. The ACAS code sets out standards of good practice that employers should consider incorporating into their own workplace procedures. Similarly, employees should also follow these procedures or any alternative procedures that their employer has in place.

Examples of good practice for disciplinary action include:

  • Deal with disciplinary action promptly but allow the employee time to prepare their case.
  • Utilise counselling and feedback techniques for minor cases of misconduct and poor performance which can be escalated to more formal action if the employee continues to behave badly and/or under-perform.
  • Investigate allegations of misconduct thoroughly and, if practicable, by a neutral third party.
  • Allow the employee a right of appeal, to a more senior member of staff if appropriate.

Examples of good practice for employee grievances include:

  • Grievances should be dealt with by a person who is not the subject of the grievance.
  • Employees should raise grievances formally, by letter if need be, if matters cannot be resolved informally.
  • A private meeting should be convened to hear formal grievances where an employee can be accompanied by a friend or advisor.
  • An investigation process should be carried out, where appropriate.
  • The employer and employee should try to decide a course of action to rectify the problem. If the employee is still unhappy they should be permitted a right of appeal.

If the Employer or Employee fail to follow the procedures which the Code of Practice recommends, or a similar and equivalent procedure then the Employment Tribunal can take this into consideration and potentially increase or reduce compensation on that basis.

We therefore recommend that, where possible, employees file a grievance before bringing a Tribunal claim and employers ensure that they follow the ACAS Code recommendations in relation to any disciplinary action they take against an employee. Employers must also comply with their own policies.

The above information is not intended to be a complete or definitive statement of the law. For more information or advice please click here to contact our Employment Law team.

Rachel Fereday

Partner and Head of Litigation & Employment

Contact a member of the team  

Here at Awdry Law we use cookies to:
- improve our website performance;
- help you share our content across your social media networks; and
- personalise our advertisements to you.

To accept our cookies please click the button below, or for further details and the chance to specify your cookie preferences please click ‘more information’.

You can change your preferences at any time by visiting the “Cookies Preferences” page, which can be found via our footer. View our Privacy and Cookies policies for full details.