Discipline & Grievance Procedures

There are minimum steps that must normally be included in a disciplinary procedure – these are known as the ‘statutory minimum procedures’. Your employer must follow this procedure or the dismissal could be deemed ‘automatically unfair’. Disciplinary procedure should follow a pattern of:

  1. The first step in the statutory minimum procedure is a written statement by your employer setting out the ground (eg the conduct) that has led them to consider disciplinary action. It may also explain the reasons why they think they have that ground for disciplining you. Your employer will need to investigate if there’s a complaint against you.
  2. The employer must invite you to a meeting to discuss the issues. The meeting must happen before any disciplinary action is taken. You have a legal right to take a work colleague or trade union representative to the meeting with you. Your employer must notify you of your right to appeal against the decision.
  3. The appeals process is similar to the disciplinary procedure:
  • you write a letter giving reasons for appealing
  • there’s a meeting, usually with a more senior manager than was at the first meeting – you have the right to be accompanied to the meeting
  • a final decision is made.

What is a grievance?

A grievance is a complaint you make about somebody/something at work, for example – your terms of employment; pay and working conditions; disagreements with co-workers; discrimination; not getting your statutory employment rights. Your employer’s grievance procedure may have more than three steps, but it should include the following: 1. Written statement; 2. Meeting; 3. Appeal meeting.