LRD Booklets June 2018

Disciplinary and grievance procedures - a guide for union reps

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Introduction [pages 4-5] (625 words)

This Labour Research Department (LRD) booklet is intended to provide practical advice and support for union reps or members who are facing a ...
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Chapter 1

1. The Acas Code of Practice on disciplinary and grievance procedures [ch 1: pages 6-7] (692 words)

The key resource for union reps representing individual members in both disciplinary and grievance hearings is the Acas Code of Practice on ...
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Core principles of the Acas Code [ch 1: pages 7-8] (426 words)

Chapter 2

2. Key features of a disciplinary procedure [ch 2: pages 9-10] (553 words)

Basic principles of fairness dictate that workers need to know the standards expected and what is likely to happen if those standards are not met. It ...
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Developing a disciplinary procedure [ch 2: page 10] (128 words)

Negotiating points [ch 2: pages 10-12] (953 words)

Acas Guidance on developing good discipline and grievance procedures [ch 2: page 13] (201 words)

Specifying unacceptable conduct [ch 2: pages 13-16] (1,377 words)

Implied contract terms [ch 2: page 17] (283 words)

Chapter 3

3. Informal and formal procedures [ch 3: page 18] (410 words)

The Acas Guidance recommends that minor misconduct or unsatisfactory performance is usually best dealt with informally with “a quiet word”. ...
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Moving from informal to formal stage [ch 3: page 19] (246 words)

Chapter 4

4. Investigation [ch 4: pages 20-25] (2,496 words)

At this stage, TUC guidance outlines the typical role played by a union rep representing a member facing a disciplinary as follows: ...
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Covert surveillance evidence [ch 4: pages 25-27] (1,145 words)

Anonymous evidence [ch 4: pages 28-29] (578 words)

Adjustments [ch 4: page 29] (173 words)

Gathering evidence to support the employee’s case [ch 4: pages 29-30] (338 words)

Ending the investigation [ch 4: page 30] (99 words)

Disciplinary investigations and criminal charges [ch 4: pages 30-31] (281 words)

Chapter 5

5. Suspension [ch 5: pages 32-34] (1,223 words)

Suspension must never be the “norm” when investigating allegations of gross misconduct. Suspension as a “knee jerk”, hasty, “default“ or ...
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Suspension terms [ch 5: pages 34-35] (213 words)

Chapter 6

6. Getting ready for the disciplinary hearing [ch 6: pages 36-37] (740 words)

If, following the investigation, it is decided that there is a disciplinary case to answer, the employer must inform the employee. ...
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Supporting evidence [ch 6: pages 37-38] (296 words)

Data Subject Access Request [ch 6: pages 38-39] (337 words)

Raising discrimination [ch 6: pages 39-40] (524 words)

Chapter 7

7. A fair disciplinary hearing [ch 7: page 41] (65 words)

The Acas Code says a disciplinary hearing should be held without unreasonable delay, while allowing the employee reasonable time to prepare the case. ...
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Attending the hearing [ch 7: page 41] (364 words)

Non-attendance due to illness [ch 7: pages 42-43] (647 words)

Arranging for a companion [ch 7: page 43] (158 words)

Special hearing arrangements [ch 7: pages 43-44] (453 words)

Adjustments for pregnancy and maternity [ch 7: pages 44-45] (97 words)

No bias [ch 7: page 45] (135 words)

Testing the evidence [ch 7: pages 45-46] (471 words)

At the hearing [ch 7: pages 46-47] (367 words)

Asking for an adjournment [ch 7: page 47] (96 words)

The decision [ch 7: page 47] (96 words)

Note-takers [ch 7: pages 47-48] (190 words)

Recording devices [ch 7: pages 48-49] (353 words)

Overlapping disciplinary and grievance procedures [ch 7: pages 49-51] (930 words)

The band of reasonable responses [ch 7: page 51] (294 words)

Precedent and consistency [ch 7: pages 51-52] (372 words)

General arguments to make in disciplinaries [ch 7: pages 52-53] (139 words)

Apologising [ch 7: page 53] (201 words)

Disability [ch 7: pages 53-54] (194 words)

Checklist: Representing a member accused of poor performance [ch 7: pages 54-55] (628 words)

Checklist: Representing a member disciplined for intermittent absence [ch 7: page 56] (298 words)

Chapter 8

8. The right to be accompanied [ch 8: page 57] (462 words)

All workers (not just employees) have the right to be accompanied at disciplinary and grievance hearings under section 10 of the Employment Relations ...
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Who can be a companion [ch 8: page 58] (473 words)

Making a request to be accompanied [ch 8: page 59] (382 words)

Right to paid time off [ch 8: pages 59-60] (254 words)

Right to time off for training [ch 8: page 60] (245 words)

The role of the companion [ch 8: pages 60-61] (155 words)

Enforcing the right to be accompanied [ch 8: page 61] (87 words)

Facilities under the Acas Code on time off for trade union duties [ch 8: page 61] (135 words)

Protection from victimisation [ch 8: pages 61-62] (192 words)

Confidentiality of case work [ch 8: page 62] (256 words)

Chapter 9

9. Decisions [ch 9: page 63] (113 words)

After the disciplinary hearing, the employer must decide whether to take disciplinary action, and must inform the employee. A good disciplinary ...
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Possible mitigation arguments [ch 9: pages 63-64] (262 words)

Disciplinary penalties [ch 9: page 65] (73 words)

Warnings [ch 9: pages 64-65] (276 words)

Moving straight to a Final Warning [ch 9: page 65] (223 words)

Dismissals triggered by Final Warnings [ch 9: pages 65-66] (238 words)

How long should warnings remain live? [ch 9: page 66] (82 words)

Lapsed warnings [ch 9: pages 66-67] (293 words)

Dismissal [ch 9: page 67] (222 words)

Chapter 10

10. Appeals [ch 10: page 68] (159 words)

All disciplinary procedures must provide a right to appeal. Failure to allow an appeal is a breach of the Acas Code (see Chapter 1) and any ...
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To appeal or not to appeal [ch 10: pages 68--70] (860 words)

Preparing appeal grounds [ch 10: pages 70-71] (489 words)

Who hears the appeal? [ch 10: page 71] (44 words)

Appeal hearings [ch 10: pages 71-72] (178 words)

Other stages of appeal [ch 10: page 72] (33 words)

Effect of appeal on dismissal date [ch 10: page 72] (126 words)

Effect of appeal on further disciplinary action [ch 10: page 72] (74 words)

Chapter 11

11. Grievance procedures [ch 11: page 73] (84 words)

Like disciplinary procedures, grievance procedures must meet the requirements of the Acas Code (see Chapter 1). An unreasonable failure to raise a ...
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Time limits [ch 11: page 73] (114 words)

Establishing a grievance procedure [ch 11: page 73] (200 words)

Drawing up grievance procedures [ch 11: page 74] (137 words)

Grievance procedures and third parties [ch 11: page 74] (202 words)

Raising a grievance [ch 11: pages 74-75] (485 words)

Grievance content [ch 11: page 76] (176 words)

Who hears the grievance [ch 11: page 76] (89 words)

Raising discrimination [ch 11: pages 76-77] (218 words)

The grievance hearing and decision [ch 11: pages 77-78] (393 words)

Appealing a grievance decision [ch 11: page 78] (171 words)

Status quo agreements [ch 11: page 78] (206 words)

Chapter 12

12. Organising around grievances and disciplinary issues [ch 12: pages 79-81] (832 words)

Unions have always understood that many workplace disputes can best be dealt with collectively through collective bargaining or collective grievances. ...
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Chapter 13

13. Mediation [ch 13: pages 82-83] (498 words)

While collective action is generally the best way to resolve problems in the workplace, the TUC recognises that mediation has an important role to ...
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Chapter 14

14. TUPE and discipline and grievance issues [ch 14: page 84] (102 words)

Increasingly, reps are asked to help members who face discipline and grievance issues against the backdrop of a TUPE transfer, for example, a ...
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Employee liability information [ch 14: page 84] (61 words)

No right to refuse to employ employees with a poor disciplinary record [ch 14: page 84] (130 words)

Disciplinaries unresolved at transfer date [ch 14: page 84] (121 words)

Appeals [ch 14: page 85] (147 words)

Chapter 15

15. References and the disciplinary and grievance process [ch 15: page 86] (53 words)

In general, an employer is not obliged to give a reference. Any reference provided must be true, accurate and fair, but there is no duty to be full ...
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What can a reference say about disciplinary issues? [ch 15: page 86] (195 words)

Can an agreed reference be negotiated? [ch 15: page 86] (113 words)

Victimisation [ch 15: page 86] (70 words)

Further information

Further information [pages 87-88] (472 words)

The Labour Research Department: www.lrd.org.uk. LRD publishes regular booklets on legal issues of interest to trade union reps and members, and on ...
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