Your employer could start formal disciplinary action against you if they have concerns about your work, conduct or absence.
Before taking formal disciplinary action or dismissing you, your employer may try to raise the matter informally with you. However, they can go straight to their formal disciplinary or dismissal procedures.
Disciplinary procedures are a set way for an employer to deal with disciplinary issues. They should include a disciplinary hearing where you’re given a chance to explain your side of the story.
There should also be a chance to appeal any disciplinary action your employer decides to take.
How disciplinary procedures work
Your employer should put their disciplinary procedure in writing, and make it easily available to all staff.
It should say what performance and behaviour might lead to disciplinary action and what action your employer might take.
It should also include the name of someone you can speak to if you do not agree with your employer’s disciplinary decision.
Your employer’s disciplinary procedure should include the following steps:
- A letter setting out the issue.
- A meeting to discuss the issue.
- A disciplinary decision.
- A chance to appeal this decision.
Acas (Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service) Code of Practice
Your employer’s disciplinary procedures should follow the Acas code of practice.
Your employer does not have to follow the Acas code. However, if they do not and you win an employment tribunal against them, you could get a larger payout.
There’s more guidance about how employers should run disciplinaries in the Acas guide on discipline and grievances at work.
Disciplinary procedures and employment contracts
Your employer can also put their disciplinary procedures in your employment contract.
If your employer does this and then does not follow these procedures you could sue them for breach of contract.
Northern Ireland has different ways of solving workplace disputes.