All is fair in HR and disciplinary

When carrying out the disciplinary process at the workplace, it must comply with a fair procedure. It is a legal requirement that all employers must comply with the procedures. Here is a guide about fair treatment and disciplinary processes at work.

What is the disciplinary procedure?

This is when you have to deal with employee misconduct at a workplace. Disciplinary procedures vary between informal and formal processes. The informal procedure can be dealt with by the manager and formal can be dealt with by the employer. If the misconduct is very serious it may result in suspension from work while it’s being investigated.

Forms of behaviour for disciplinary action.

There are many sorts of behaviour that can lead to misconduct. Here are a few listed below:

  • bullying
  • harassment
  • refusing to do work
  • being late
  • being absent without permission (some people call it absent without leave or ‘AWOL’)
  • fraud/ theft
  • drugs

There are two categories of misconduct gross and general. As an employer, it is important that you have valid reason to dismiss someone from gross misconduct.


All employees should be entitled to grievance when at work. It should be raised by an employee if they feel like they are in an uncomfortable position. Some grievances can be time-consuming, and this would make the process longer. However, the employer should try to understand why the employee has raised a grievance. All grievances raised will be dealt with fairly and consistently. This includes gathering evidence such as witness statements and other related documents.

Black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) fairness

Everyone should have equal access to work and opportunity to reach their potential, regardless of identity, background or circumstance. BAME employees are more likely than those from a white British background to say that experiencing discrimination is a problem. No matter what race or ethnic BAME should be treated the same way as others. If an employee that belongs to the BAME group and committed misconduct they should be treated the same way as people with white backgrounds.

Disciplinary procedure

  • Understanding the options- At this stage, it gives a chance to decide whether disciplinary action is really necessary. For example, if an employee was to commit minor misconduct by turning up late to work. To solve this matter it would be better to have an informal meeting with the manager.
  • Following a fair procedure- If the employer has tried to resolve the issue informally but feels they need to start a disciplinary procedure, the employee must be informed straight away. The employer must make sure they follow a full and fair procedure.
  • Carry out an investigation- An investigation of the misconduct must take place and gather as much information they could.
  • Disciplinary hearing- This is where a meeting is held with all the evidence gathered.
  • The outcome of the hearing- A decision has been made after the disciplinary hearing. Sometimes there is no action taken and the employer will let them know when to return to work.
  • After the procedure- The information must be kept confidential and a record must be kept for reference.

The disciplinary procedure was followed by a fair process. The employer has acted fairly before dismissing him or her, you carried out a proper investigation and following such investigation, the employer came to a genuine and reasonable outcome. If they don’t follow a fair procedure it won’t be fair on the employee.


Sometimes depending on the decision of the employer, the employee may just be suspended from work for a while. This means they are still employed by the company. But, when an employer decides to suspend the employee it should only be for a short time only. The employee should be notified with a suspension letter and a record should be kept.

How we can help

For more information please contact us on 0207 537 6631 or leave us an email at and we can give you the right advice that is suitable for you!