To help you resolve issues quickly, we also offer interactive Discipline and Grievance training to help managers develop their confidence in dealing with investigations and hearings in accordance with legislation and best practice. Problems can arise in any workplace and making sure they are dealt with fairly and consistently may require an investigation. The ACAS Code of Practice on Disciplinary and Grievance Procedures applies to any matters relating to discipline. Overview. Deal with new allegations that arise during a disciplinary investigation Key points. Disclosures should be made in the public interest. We start with the informal stages and initial investigation. Take into account that a reasonable disciplinary investigation will be essential to ensure that a dismissal for misconduct is fair. Even where the employer believes there to be “obvious guilt”, it is vital that this stage is not skipped. Overview. Acas uses cookies to ensure we give you the best experience and to make the site simpler. A failure to consistently follow best practice guidelines can lead to a perception of unfairness amongst the workforce, or indeed legal action. Is there a minimum disciplinary procedure that employers must follow? In this webinar, we run through the steps you should consider when conducting a disciplinary investigation. Follow the recommendations about disciplinary investigations in the Acas code of practice on disciplinary and grievance procedures. The ACAS Code of Practice states “in misconduct cases, where practicable, different people should carry out the investigation and the disciplinary hearing”. The Code is issued under section 199 of the Trade Union and Labour Relations (Consolidation) Act 1992 and was laid before both Houses of Parliament on 16 January 2015. www.acas.org.uk for more details. The logical conclusion as to why this wording is in there is that the same person holding all three stages may not be seen as impartial. The ACAS Code recognises that in small organisations there may be a limited number of managers within an organisation, making it hard to appoint a wholly unconnected person to conduct a disciplinary investigation. Welcome to Acas Learning Online news and updates. The proper handling of discipline at work is central to good employment relations. This digital event looks at how to conduct and manage a fair internal investigation, from gathering and assessing evidence through to presenting findings. Why the investigation is important. This requirement is enshrined in the Acas Code of Practice on Disciplinary and Grievance Procedures.Paragraph 4 of this Code stresses that employers should carry out any necessary investigations, to establish the facts of the case. Conducting disciplinary investigations and hearings. Failure to do so will fall foul of the ACAS code and the principles of fairness established by case law. Clear, practical guidance on how to conduct workplace investigations and hearings. This includes while social distancing and lockdown measures are in place. Acas has published new guidance on how employers should conduct disciplinary and grievance procedures during the COVID-19 pandemic. Most disciplinary procedures will not require suspension. The event will be delivered via Zoom, in two sessions, over two consecutive days. 2. Paragraph 1 of ACAS Code 1 says that, “Disciplinary situations include misconduct and/or poor performance. A series of case studies on Acas training on employment relations open to all: Cheswold Park Hospital [175kb] - staff report on the impact of attending Open Access sessions covering investigation skills and equality Podcast: Disciplinary investigations and hearings, and dismissals. Investigations are covered by the Acas Code of Practice on disciplinary and grievance procedures, which is the minimum a workplace must follow. If workers can not go to their employer with the disclosure first they should contact a prescribed person or body (guidance is available from GOV.UK - Blowing the whistle: list of prescribed people and bodies). 16th December 2020 - Changes to our online learning. If you require support through a disciplinary issue, call 0345 226 8393 for professional advice and guidance. When carrying out the investigation employers should: 1. Can a flawed investigation breach the implied term of mutual trust and confidence? Handling disciplinary investigations. The need for a disciplinary hearing can still arise in the workplace, even in the midst of a pandemic. A disciplinary investigation must take place prior to any disciplinary action to ensure that the employer does not fall foul of the Acas code, or the principles of fairness established by case law. How to deal with disciplinaries during lockdown – new ACAS guidance. Although it is a statutory right, the Acas code reminds employers of the requirement to allow the employee to be accompanied at a disciplinary hearing. Where new allegations come to light concerning the employee who is the subject of the disciplinary investigation, the employer should inform the employee of the new allegations, and investigate them, which may involve a further investigatory meeting with the employee. Join Acas as we guide you through the disciplinary process. This is available here, and set out below. If employers have a separate capability procedure they may prefer to address performance issues under this procedure. Enacting key meetings, the day culminates in a ‘live’ hearing. You continue to have employment rights during the investigation. Go to . It is critical for an investigation into potential misconduct to take place prior to the employer deciding to progress to a disciplinary hearing and/or issue a disciplinary sanction. The Acas guide to conducting workplace investigations (which is non-statutory) advises that: The investigation report should summarise the factual findings of the investigation; The investigator should restrict their conclusions to recommendations on whether the employer should take formal action, such as holding a disciplinary hearing. "The law and Acas Code of Practice on disciplinary and grievance procedures still apply during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. ACAS has produced guidance on Disciplinary and grievance procedures during the coronavirus pandemic. Acas also propose that an employee should be asked to agree to their involvement in disciplinary or grievance proceedings on a voluntary basis. The ACAS Code of Practice on Disciplinary and Grievance Procedure lays down the key principles for handling these situations in the workplace.. in Acas’ guide ‘Handling small‑scale redundancies – a step‑by‑step guide’ and in its advisory booklet ‘How to manage large‑scale redundancies’. Where the investigation shows that the employee has a case to answer, they should be invited to a disciplinary meeting, again without unreasonable delay. The right to be accompanied arises when a worker who is invited by his or her employer to attend a disciplinary or grievance hearing makes a reasonable request for a companion to attend the hearing. The duration of each session will be 3 hours. New Acas guidance on holding disciplinary and grievance meetings without meetings (UK) By David Whincup on May 7, 2020 Posted in Dismissal, Unfair dismissal Neatly timed to coincide with the beginning of the end of lockdown, ACAS has this week has issued some new thoughts on the conduct of disciplinary and grievance proceedings during the pandemic. The ACAS Code. Related content /acas-code-of-practice-on-disciplinary-and-grievance-procedures Download example discipline and grievance procedures Download Discipline and grievances at work: the Acas guide (PDF, 841KB, 79 page… The employer must carry out an investigation to get as much information as they reasonably can about their employee’s alleged misconduct or poor performance. An investigation should take place prior to any disciplinary action being taken by the employer both to comply with the Acas Code of Practice on disciplinary procedures and also the principles of fairness. If a disciplinary or grievance case reaches an employment tribunal, judges will look at whether the employer has followed the Acas Code of Practice in a fair way. ACAS Code 1. ACAS guidance on conducting workplace investigations also reminds employers that: the investigation report should summarise the factual findings of the investigation; the investigator should restrict their conclusions to recommendations on whether the employer should take formal action, such as holding a disciplinary hearing. The ACAS Code of Practice on Discipline and Grievance Procedures (ACAS Code 1) sets out best practice on how grievance and discipline should be handled. Acas guide to conducting workplace investigations, published in October 2015 and last updated in June 2019, to assist employers carrying out grievance or disciplinary investigations in the workplace. Acas takes the view in its guidance that it is still possible for furloughed employees to take on various roles in disciplinary or grievance investigations or hearings, including if they are the person under investigation, chairing a hearing, acting as a witness or companion, or taking a note, provided that such participation is voluntary. A reasonable investigation by the employer is a key component of a fair dismissal procedure. Your employer has a legal duty to act reasonably and use a fair procedure. Now that seems quite a cautious approach to us and could add an opportunity for disputes and that's particularly so in the context of disciplinary proceedings where we frequently see employees seeking to delay those proceedings, especially when … It recommends that this should be done “where practicable”. This should be set out in writing, providing the employee with copies of any witness statements in advance to allow them to prepare their case. Business need. Whistle-blowing - Public Interest Disclosure Key points. We will facilitate discussion throughout the day, providing best practice advice, relevant case law and highlighting potential pitfalls. Please contact Acas on 0300 123 1150 for information on future events . A case study on the impact of Acas’ employee feedback survey tool [436kb] Acas Open Access Training case studies. Overview; Choosing the investigator; Set out the scope of the investigator’s role; The investigation process; Postponing an investigatory meeting; Suspension during investigation ; Grievances raised during the investigation; Key cases on investigations; OVERVIEW. Acas provides information, advice, training, conciliation and other services for employers and employees to help prevent or resolve workplace problems. The Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service (Acas) has updated its guidance on conducting workplace investigations. Here you will find information about what is happening on this site. 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