Discipline and grievance procedures ― general requirements

By Tolley in association with Becky Lawton at Charles Russell Speechlys LLP

The following Employment Tax guidance note by Tolley in association with Becky Lawton at Charles Russell Speechlys LLP provides comprehensive and up to date tax information covering:

  • Discipline and grievance procedures ― general requirements
  • What elements must be included in the written statement of particulars?
  • The right to a fair trial?
  • Acas Code of Practice
  • Disciplinary action

Many employers have their own procedures for dealing with disciplinary issues or for employees to raise grievances. These tend to be contained in employee handbooks or staff manuals. In some organisations they may be made available by alternative means, such as on corporate intranets.

It is desirable for all employers to implement well-drawn written disciplinary and grievance procedures for at least three reasons:

They provide a clear framework for both employer and employee to assist in the efficient and systematic resolution of grievances and disciplinary issues.Both employer and employee should know where they stand at any given point in the procedure, what their rights and entitlements are under it, and what should occur next to resolve the issue.
Provided they are followed, they can protect the employer against the pitfalls of a poor procedural approach if the parties end up litigating issue that cannot be resolved.Operating a full, fair procedure is a central consideration in unfair dismissal scenarios. In order to be fair, a dismissal must be procedurally fair and for one of five potentially fair reasons. An employer is unlikely to be successful in defending an unfair dismissal claim where a fair procedure has not been followed, even if the reason for dismissal was, in itself, uncontroversial.
In the context of discrimination claims, procedural irregularities and imperfections can lead to allegations or inferences that a particular employee has been treated less favourably on the basis of

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