Presentation on theme: "Understanding Discipline in the Workplace"— Presentation transcript:
1 Understanding Discipline in the Workplace 11 December 2014Deborah Wardle, Assistant Head of Employee Relations
2 Unit Purpose and AimsTo develop knowledge and understanding of discipline in the workplace as required by a practising or potential first line manager
3 Learning OutcomesUnderstand the legal aspects and organisational policy relating to discipline in the workplaceUnderstand how to monitor discipline in the workplace
4 Assessment Criteria1.1 Briefly describe the legal aspects of the disciplinary process1.2 Identify an organisation’s employment policies and procedures that could guide the manager in dealing with disciplinary issues2.1 Describe the purpose of the disciplinary procedure2.2 Identify the interpersonal behaviour and support skills required by a manager to monitor discipline in the workplace
5 Legal FrameworkEmployment Rights Act, 1996Equality Act, 2010
6 Employment Rights Act, 1996Provides a definition of what is an employee:‘an individual who has entered into or works under (or, where the employment has ceased, worked under) a contract of employment’
7 There were key individual employment rights introduced by this Act including: Right to receive a written statement of terms and conditions ie the “contract of employment”, which includes details of pay, contracted hours of work, holidays, sick pay, notice periodsRight not to be unfairly dismissedMaternity rightsRedundancy provisions, including right to a redundancy paymentStatutory minimum notice period for dismissals
8 Equality Act, 2010To prevent discrimination of 9 protected characteristics:-AgeDisabilityGender ReassignmentMarriage and Civil PartnershipPregnancy and Maternity / PaternityRaceReligion or BeliefSexSexual Orientation
9 The Equality Act, 2010, sets out an additional duty on public sector employers to tackle discrimination and set an example in making society fairer.
10 Conduct – DisciplineDisciplinary issues arise where there has been an alleged breach of conduct by one or more members of staff The Trust’s Disciplinary Procedure provides a framework for managing conduct issues and potential disciplinary processes Former PCT staff who transferred to the Trust as a result of TCS and hold PCT contracts of employment are subject to the PCT’s Disciplinary Procedure
11 Disciplinary Policies / Procedures A revised Disciplinary Policy and Procedure is currently under negotiation and is expected to be ratified shortly by JNCC and agreed at TEG in January This new Policy and Procedure will apply to all employees of the Trust, including PCT transferees. Where there are conduct issues relating to Medical and Dental staff these are dealt with via the Trust’s Conduct, Capability, Ill Health and Appeals Policies and Procedures, where there is conflict between the two procedures.
12 ConductIt is important that a manager establishes whether there has been a deliberate act rather than a failure on the part of the employee to perform to the standards to which they should be capable.In the event of a deliberate, wilful, failure to perform this may be addressed by a disciplinary procedure as an act of misconduct.Where the investigation process indicates the failure is not deliberate, it may be more appropriate to consider utilising the Trust’s Capability procedure.
13 Disciplinary Procedures These involve / may involve:AllegationsSuspensionInvestigations, including formal interviewsDisciplinary HearingsDisciplinary SanctionsAppealsEmployment Tribunals
14 AllegationsAllegations may be received in a number of ways. Once an allegation has been made it is really important to act without delay. What are you going to do next?
15 Suspension – a Neutral act Suspension from duty is normally carried out under the following circumstances:Where an allegation is potentially gross misconductWhere a fair investigation cannot take place while the employee continues to carry out their duties, where the employee may be in a position to influence or interfere with the investigation in some wayConsider alternatives to suspension – can the employee continue to work with some temporary adjustments?
16 Investigations including formal Interviews Investigations should be commenced as a matter of urgency following receipt of an allegation.Investigative interview should be arranged by the manager without delay.Appropriate notice should be given of investigation meetings and interviews, which does depend on the type of meeting being arranged - Suspension or formal interviews
17 Where possible, meetings should be arranged within the normal working hours The invitation letter should be clear about the purpose / stage of the meeting and why it has been arrangedThe employee must be informed of their right to be represented at the meetingThe letter should be clear about the potential consequences / outcome of the meeting as set out in the stages of the procedure
18 Disciplinary Hearings A panel is arranged and chaired by a manager with the correct authorityThe investigating manager presents their case, which may involve witnesses. The investigating manager may be asked questions by the panel and the employee.The employee or their representative presents their case (responds to the allegations), which may involve witnesses. The employee or their representative may be asked questions by the panel and the investigating manager
19 Further questions may be asked of the investigating manager and the employee or their representative The investigating manager summarise their caseThe employee or their representative summarise their casePanel adjourns to consider their decisionEmployee and investigating manager are informed of the decision, which is then confirmed in writing
20 Disciplinary Sanctions Sanctions currently available are:Counselling recordFirst Stage WarningSecond Stage WarningFinal WarningDismissal (with or without notice)
21 AppealsEmployees have the right of appeal against a disciplinary sanctionAppeals are heard by a Panel who review the decision taken at the Disciplinary HearingThe Appeal format mirrors that of a Disciplinary Hearing but the Employee / Representative presents the reason for appeal before the management respondThe Panel adjourns to consider their decision which is then communicated in writingCurrent policy expectations include four levels of warning – including dismissalThe length of warnings increase as the level increasesFirst warnings – 6 monthsSecond warnings – 12 monthsFinal Warnings – 12 monthsOutcome letters will all include future expectations where the employee remains in post.Where the employee is terminated, the employee will be advised of expectations to return Trust property and not to reapply to the Trust as their application should not be considered due to their dismissalSmart objectives has been covered in an earlier session, but should also be considered when given any objectives for improvement to an employee
22 Employment TribunalsAn employee may make an Employment Tribunal application for a number of reasons eg unfair dismissal, discriminationAn Employment Tribunal is independent, and may order the employer to re-instate, re-engage or pay compensation if the individual wins their caseApplications to Employment Tribunals usually have to be made within 3 months of the employment ending, or the problem happening at work
23 An Employment Tribunal is a legal ‘court’ chaired by an Employment Judge and follows strict legal proceduresA full ET hearing will take place only following an extensive process whereby alternative solutions such as settlement have been explored.There is a strict legal framework concerning attendance at the ET, witnesses, statements and availabilitySTH always defends ET applications, with full legal advice and representation
24 HR Key Performance Indicators The HR team has a set of KPIs we are working towards:Suspension 8 weeksInvestigation 4 weeksDisc Hearing 3 weeks from end of the investigationOutcome Letter max 7 days from Disciplinary HearingAppeal Hearing 4 weeks from receipt of AppealOutcome Letter 7 days from Appeal Hearing
25 Cost of case management SuspensionsService provisionStaff engagementAdministrative costsKey Performance IndicatorsEmployment TribunalsReputationNot just about the employee – the wider implications for the department and the caseIntroduced Key performance indicators to ensure consistency and time spent on investigating and progressing cases to a conclusionCost of any case impacts on the management team’s time involved and where going to Employment Tribunal’s a substantial cost for the progression and response to the case as well as the cost of any award to the employee
26 Some MetricsThere are currently 93 live Disciplinary cases in the Trust34 people are currently suspended from dutyLongest ongoing suspension in the Trust is currently 43 weeksFinancial remedies in Unfair Dismissal claims can be up to £76,500Financial remedies in Discrimination claims are unlimited