Disciplinary and Grievances
- Independent investigations on behalf of your organisation
- Supporting hearings and providing an escalation path for appeals
- Training of Employment Law legislation
- Ensuring legal processes are followed
When allegations are made about any employee the first stage is to conduct an investigation. Finding time to do this on your behalf can be difficult in a small business. Finding someone not connected to the matter can be even more difficult. How do you ensure a fair and reasonable process is followed?
Having an independent party complete any investigation on behalf of your organisation is one way to reassure all parties that a fair procedure has been followed.
Making a decision without completing a reasonable investigation can make any subsequent decisions or actions unfair, and leave an employer vulnerable to legal action.
The law on unfair dismissal requires employers to act reasonably when dealing with disciplinary issues. What is classed as reasonable behaviour will depend on the circumstances of each case, and is ultimately a matter for employment tribunals to decide. However, the core principles are set out in the Acas Code of Practice.
Employment tribunals are legally required to take the Acas Code of Practice into account when considering relevant cases. Tribunals will also be able to adjust any compensatory awards made in these cases by up to 25 percent for unreasonable failure to comply with any provision of the Code. This means that if the tribunal feels that an employer has unreasonably failed to follow the guidance set out in the Code they can increase any award they have made by up to 25 percent.
Conversely, if they feel an employee has unreasonably failed to follow the guidance set out in the Code they can reduce any award they have made by up to 25 percent.
Just using an independent party can help ease the tension between the employee and the employer by acting as a mediator. An independent third party or mediator can sometimes help resolve disciplinary or grievance issues.
Mediation is a voluntary process where the mediator helps two or more people in dispute to attempt to reach an agreement. Any agreement comes from those in dispute, not from the mediator. The mediator is not there to judge, to say one person is right and the other wrong, or to tell those involved in the mediation what they should do. The mediator is in charge of the process of seeking to resolve the problem but not the outcome.
Mediation can work especially well with grievances.
For disciplinaries having an independent consultant handle the disciplinary hearing allows smaller organisations to be certain that the correct legal process is being followed as well as ensuring management is available for any subsequent appeal that may be lodged.
For further information and an informal chat on how we can help your organisation please get in touch using the contact us form.