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Tag Archive

Top 10 Examples of How Flawed Disciplinary Procedures Can Give Rise to Unfair Dismissal Claims

For an employer, nothing is more frustrating than an employee that has been dismissed for “blatant misconduct” yet has a potential claim for unfair dismissal because the correct procedures were not followed. Here are top 10 examples of how disciplinary procedures can go wrong for employers:  

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How to Manage a Disciplinary Hearing

In the ideal world of employment, employee behaviour would be flawless, punctuality would be the norm, absences would be minimal, if not rare, and the standard of work would be exceptional. To the contrary, in the real world of employment, most employers will be aware that this is not always the case and, in some circumstances, issues may arise which force an employer to take disciplinary action. 

An essential point to note is that if an employer determines that there is a disciplinary issue at hand following a thorough investigation, it is key that the employer conducts a fair and well-prepared disciplinary hearing before any disciplinary action can lawfully be taken. This is not only representative of excellent HR practice but a way to ensure that employees are able to offer their point of view on the matter and be treated fairly. 

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What are the tribunal rules for admission of covert recordings?

Recently we have seen an increasing number of cases involving covert recordings and their admissibility in tribunal proceedings, so what does the law say in this area?

The Tribunal Rules give judges a wide discretion when considering evidence. The general understanding is that tribunals should hear all the evidence that is relevant even in instances where an employee has made covert recordings of internal hearings. However, if an employee somehow managed to obtain a covert recording of a closed session, i.e. private conversations between the decision panels making a decision, the recording will likely be inadmissible.

Here are a few simple steps to help you avoid an argument for admission of covert records: 

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High Court Injunctions and Disciplinary Hearings

A rather interesting concept was dealt with recently by the Supreme Court via the case ofWest London Mental Health NHS Trust v Chhabra. The question before the Court was whether it could intervene to restrain an employer from requiring an employee to face allegations of gross misconduct at a disciplinary hearing if the conduct complained of is not sufficiently serious so as to support such a finding of misconduct.

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Disciplinary and Grievance hearings and the right to be accompanied

A common topic that is consistently put to employment lawyers, both by employers and employees, is who can attend a disciplinary or grievance hearing as an employee companion?

This question is generally then followed by a description of an unusual request for an employee’s neighbour, mother, long-lost cousin or dog-walker to accompany them to their hearing. An employer is free to concede to such requests if they are ‘reasonable’ and most commonly where it is likely to aid in the smooth running of the hearing.

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