The following Employment practice note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:
This Practice Note considers the Acas guidance on how to deal with disciplinary and grievance procedures during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, and the adjustments it suggests that employers may need to make to implement the Acas Code of Practice on Disciplinary and Grievance Procedures (Acas Code) to ensure that any procedure is safe, fair and reasonable.
Self-isolation, social distancing, lockdown and other measures, which have been implemented to control the spread of cornonavirus (COVID-19), have significantly affected the way in which many workplaces operate, including how employers deal with disciplinary and grievance situations. Many employers may, consequently, find it difficult to implement in full the principles set out in the Acas Code, depending on the extent to which their workplaces have been disrupted by cornonavirus.
Difficulties that employers may face, include:
practical difficulties in conducting disciplinary or grievance investigations
practical issues associated with convening a disciplinary or grievance meeting, whether remotely or face-to-face
staffing challenges if managers, who would normally be responsible for conducting investigations or chairing disciplinary and appeal hearings, are working remotely, or are absent from work
accommodating a worker’s right to be accompanied
ensuring that disciplinary and grievance processes are dealt with without delay, despite potential logistical and staffing issues
mental health considerations of staff members, generally, when it comes to disciplinary and grievance procedures at this time, as feelings of stress and
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