In many cases the right word at the right time and place may be all that is needed and will be a more satisfactory method of dealing with minor misconduct or poor performance than a formal interview.

However, a formal discipline procedure should be followed whenever an employee is not performing properly or is failing to comply with necessary standards and where the problem cannot be solved by positive informal counselling.

The procedure is not there to be used solely when dismissal is likely to prove necessary but also as a way of indicating to an employee that improvements are needed and to help the employee to make those improvements and to meet expected standards

The procedure

In the event of poor performance or an act of misconduct which cannot be addressed informally, the following procedure will apply:

• Set out in writing the reasons for the proposed dismissal or action short of dismissal.
• Send a copy of this statement to the employee and invite him/her to a meeting to discuss the issues.
• Allow the employee time to consider his/her response.
• Hold a meeting with the employee to discuss the issues and the proposed course of action.
• Allow the employee to be accompanied at the meeting by a work colleague or trade union representative (if it is not practicable for the employee or his/her chosen representative to attend the meeting, arrange an alternative time for the meeting).
• Inform the employee of the decision to dismiss or to take action short of dismissal and of his/her right to appeal and confirm this in writing.
• If the employee appeals, hold an appeal hearing at which a more senior manager reviews the decision and confirm the outcome of the appeal in writing.

Stage 1
The employer will set out in writing the reasons for the disciplinary. This statement will be sent to the employee when inviting him/her to attend a meeting to discuss the issues.

Stage 2
The employer should allow the employee sufficient time before the meeting to consider his/her response. The employer must allow the employee to be accompanied at the meeting by a work colleague.

Stage 3
Following the meeting the employer will inform the employee in writing of the decision and any action that will be taken as a result of that decision. The employer will advise the employee of their right to appeal against the decision.

Stage 4
If the employee wishes to appeal, he/she should inform the Employer in writing within five days, giving his/her reasons for appeal. Where possible the appeal hearing will be held by another director within 10 working days. The outcome will be confirmed in writing within 10 working days from the date of the appeal hearing. The decision will be final.
For more details about how to conduct a disciplinary meeting and an appeal meeting, please refer to documents:-

Step by step guide to conducting a disciplinary interview

Step by step guide to dealing with an appeal against disciplinary action