Employment Law Department
Disciplinary procedures deal with employees who do not perform to the performance expected standard and to promote improvement.
A disciplinary procedure should be a clear procedure which allows your employer to tell you that something is wrong. It allows your employer to explain what improvements are needed and gives you an opportunity to give your side of the story. It could however lead to disciplinary action such as dismissal in more serious or extreme cases.
As with most employment matters before the disciplinary procedure is commenced, your employer may try to raise the matter informally with you. This could be a good way of resolving the matter quickly. However if this does not work, then your employer might follow their company disciplinary procedure.
The ACAS Code of Practice on Disciplinary and Grievance Procedures sets out the required standard of that procedure and should include details such as your employers’ rules, what performance and behaviour might lead to disciplinary action and what action they may choose to take. It should give you the name of the person you can speak to you if you are not happy with your employers decision and the appeals process generally.
Sometimes you may be suspended from work whilst your dismissal or disciplinary issue is being investigated.
If your contract allows you to be suspended without pay, your employer can do so as long as they are acting reasonably. However if your contract does not say anything on this point, your employer may still suspend you, but with pay. To be clear, this is not a punishment, the suspension will be on full pay in most cases.
You keep your employment rights whilst suspended, so if you do not get paid, you may be able to make a claim for unlawful deductions from wages to the Employment Tribunal. Whilst suspended you may be told that you cannot talk to others about the issue. However if this stops you from defending yourself, it may be grounds for appeal.