Disciplinary hearings can be stressful for employees and witnesses. go through the evidence. If you have any questions on disciplinary hearings, contact employment law solicitor Anna Lovett at alo@burnetts.co.uk. The date set for the disciplinary hearing should be in line with your disciplinary procedure, and give you and the employee sufficient time to prepare. If the employee has a representative at the meeting, be aware that they can make statements and ask questions on the employee’s behalf but cannot answer questions that are put to the employee directly. Fail to prepare and you prepare to fail. Conduct an investigation into the incident. If informal measures fail to create a … If a possible outcome is dismissal, then this must be made clear. Impact of remote hearing on the right to be accompanied. You should make sure there is sufficient time between sending the invite letter and holding the meeting. Adjourn the meeting and note the time of adjournment. Come back next time to find out. There is no reason why representatives cannot attend a remote disciplinary or grievance hearing. How to Chair an Appeal Hearing/Meeting For all Procedures. At the start of the disciplinary hearing, the manager should introduce everyone present; explain the allegations against the employee and the purpose of the hearing. For more help and advice about disciplinary issues contact us at www.threedomsolutions.co.uk   or follow us on twitter @3domSolutions. Ten to fifteen minutes should be sufficient for an owner to explain themselves. The course focuses on how to conduct disciplinary hearings in line with the principles of fairness and equity as envisaged by the Labour Relations Act is covered. If the employee is disabled, you should check whether any reasonable adjustments need to be made to the arrangements. A letter is sent to the employee to invite them to the hearing. In the case of misconduct, consider writing an invitation letter to the accused employee to arrange the hearing, confirm the allegations and witnesses and explain the possible consequences (including dismissal if that’s the case). Longer lead times for ACAS early conciliation. It was for when you get that call that your employee is alleged to have done something and you need to find out if, where, what and when. You should also arrange for a note-taker to support you at the disciplinary hearing. 1. At the hearing itself, the disciplinary officer should welcome and introduce all parties and their roles within the meeting (if the employee brings a companion, please see guidance at the end) then proceed as indicated below, 5. Ensure that the basic principles of fairness are followed throughout the disciplinary procedure. Record that the charges are correctly framed and brought. At a hearing, your employee should receive a full opportunity to answer the allegations and put forward any explanation or defence of their breach of your rules . This will have an effect on the time prescribed in the code of conduct for disciplinary hearings. You must formally invite the employee to the disciplinary hearing in writing. The employer should: explain the employee’s alleged misconduct or performance issue. A chance to appeal the disciplinary decision. If the companion is not available at the original date you should rearrange to another time that falls within a period of five working days of the original date. 7. The disciplinary hearing should follow a structured format as follows: • Introduce those present• Confirm that this is a hearing under the formal disciplinary procedure.• Where an employee has waived their right to representation, offer the right to representation one last time. The essential read for HR professionals: the Acas guidance on disciplinary hearings. At the end of a disciplinary hearing, an employee has the right to appeal against the decision and must be told of this right at that time. At the start of the disciplinary hearing, the Chairperson must explain the allegations against the employee, the purpose of the hearing and manner in which it will be conducted. A disciplinary hearing is an opportunity for you to go through the complaints or concerns against an employee. The decision must always be given in writing along with instructions on how to appeal the decision. If new evidence or issues have been raised, further investigation may be needed before a decision can be reached. If the employee does not have a companion with them, the disciplinary officer should ask them if they are happy to proceed without and this should be documented within the minutes. It is important that the employee is given the chance to put his or her case forward in response to the allegations, and that a fair process is followed when preparing for and conducting the disciplinary hearing. Note – If the employee is being accompanied it must be an individual who is either a fellow employee, a trade union representative or an official employed by a trade union. Confirm the appeal arrangements. It is important that you set appropriate expectations with your employees. The investigation may entail interviewing other employees or witnesses for details on the incident. The disciplinary officer should prepare questions in advance of the hearing and ensure that they have a complete pack of all the notes and letters related to the investigation. By their nature disciplinary hearings are stressful, not only for the employee but for the decision maker. The employee should then be given the opportunity to make any response to the allegations, ask questions and discuss any documentary evidence. Even for the most seasoned HR professional, conducting a disciplinary hearing can be a nerve-racking process. And arrange a proper, private venue. The employee should again be reminded of their right to be accompanied if they have attended unaccompanied. How to Conduct a Disciplinary Hearing Before a formal disciplinary process, employers should use informal methods like a simple chat or mediation. Say who else will be present at the hearing. There is no reason why a disciplinary or grievance process needs to be put on hold just because employees are working remotely. If your company has an internal disciplinary policy then you should make sure you follow this when holding a disciplinary hearing as well. Disciplinary hearings are a difficult area for employers. The date set for the disciplinary hearing should be in order with your disciplinary procedure and give you and the employee ample time to prepare. Give a minimum 1-3 days’ notice of the meeting dependant on complexities to allow the employee chance to prepare. If an employee appeals a disciplinary decision, let them know in writing that you’ve arranged a formal appeal meeting and that they can bring a companion. Record receipt of a copy of the Notice of Disciplinary Hearing. If there are, ask why they disagree. The Chairperson should introduce himself. Ask the employee if there are any accounts/statements included in the invitation pack that they disagree with. The Chairperson must explain his or her role in the proceedings: “My name is ………………and I am … It is fundamental that you investigate the situation before you consider... Set Expectations. Where there is a disciplinary sanction to be given, the disciplinary officer should decide upon appropriate sanction (after an adjournment to consider the facts). Crucial need-to-knows during a disciplinary hearing. Even if employers feel they have all the evidence already necessary to dismiss an employee, you must listen to their evidence, mitigation and hear their reasons. It’s also your chance to discuss all the evidence against them. As with disciplinary and grievance hearings conducted in person at the workplace, employees have a statutory right to be accompanied to these meetings by a colleague or trade union representative. As a working parent she is passionate about supporting parents in the workplace and also developing employee's Resilience in the workplace. 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