Employment Law Services

Write a Disciplinary & Grievance Policy

The ACAS Code of Practice 1 Disciplinary and Grievance Procedures is not a disciplinary procedure. Rather, it sets out standards/guidance on how disciplinary and grievance situations should be dealt with; employers will still need to have their own procedure in place, which should follow the principles contained in the Code of Practice (CoP). An unreasonable failure to follow the CoP can still lead to awards adjusted by up to 25 percent.

As part of the Statement of Particulars, a company’s disciplinary & grievance procedures should be provided to staff within two months of them commencing employment.

When writing disciplinary & grievance policies, employers need to ensure:

  • they follow the principles set down by the ACAS CoP;
  • these are clear & unambiguous;
  • set reasonable standards that will be consistent across the workforce, and not discriminate against any group or type of employees;
  • promote high standards among your employees, without setting the bar so high as too be unachievable;
  • encourage confidence that you will treat grievances with the seriousness the employee is treating the issue;
  • protect against legal action where the policy is followed;
  • promote high standards among your employees, without setting the bar so high as too be unachievable;
  • define types of behaviour that will be met with disciplinary action, but not be definitive – employees always have ways of surprising with their behaviour.

Your employees should have a good understanding of the disciplinary standards you expect of them, and confidence in the serious manner with which you will treat their grievances. Where possible, this should be expressed through the disciplinary & grievance policies.

Wherever managers are in place in a business, they should be given responsibility for dealing with disciplinary & grievance matters. Not only does this ensure you are utilising your resources properly, but also provides for an extra level of management to review decisions and consider appeals, where necessary. The level of management that will deal with any issue arising should be clearly set-out in your companies policies.

For assistance in drafting a policy, contact Employment Law Clinic:

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